My son enjoying the play-area….


It was dark and rainy most of the day today so we decided to pack the kids and head to the indoor playground at our local mall. This place is padded and safe and just perfect for them to climb, run and burn energy…

My husband, our two children and I had just arrived, we all took our shoes off and we were playing happily when a mom arrived with her very sick child and they entered the small indoor play area. The little girl was coughing non-stop, a barky/raspy croupy sounding cough and she had a runny nose. She looked so sick I wondered why she was not at home or at the Dr’s office instead of the mall’s play-area.

I understand that sometimes going some places with a sick child is unavoidable. Running to the store to pick up a bottle of medicine with your child when they are sick is sometimes necessary, going for a walk to get some fresh-air when you have been inside for days because they are sick, absolutely. But taking your very sick child to a very small indoor play-area that is filled with other small children who are all crawling, running around and touching everything is just NOT cool!  It is selfish and very rude!

We are also talking about a very sick looking child here, not somebody who looked like she was recovering from a cold, had just a lingering cough or even just a bit of a runny nose.  In those cases and when children are no longer contagious I understand if you decide it is o.k. for your child to be at a playground, of course, still teaching your child to cover their mouth when sneezing and coughing is very important.

I am not sure if the mom noticed or even cared but after we saw her come in with her child and her little one started walking around coughing on all the toys without covering her mouth, touching her snotty nose and then touching the floor, walls and toys we immediately left. And we were not the only ones,  so did a couple of other parents with their children.

My youngest son has had croup four times, one of them was so severe we had to rush him to the ER and he needed immediate treatment with medicine and a mask to be able to breath, it was one of the scariest nights of our lives.  Having a cold can often turn into croup for him and I try to keep him away from anybody with colds or other’s with croup to avoid another episode. I was very upset that this other parent decided it was o.k. to bring her very sick child to a public indoor play-ground without any care for the community and other children/parents around. If my son gets a cold or the croup again it is usually something serious for us.

If we are sick we stay at home, recover and wait until we feel better and we are not contagious before we go out to playgrounds, school, etc. I have canceled events, going to friend’s birthday’s and many other social activities when we are sick and I hope other parents do the same when their children are sick.

Do you take your child to the playground/school when they are sick? At what point do you keep them out of group activities?