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Old 02-28-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
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colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

I honestly don't understand or know what to expect what is or isn't appropriate. I have a scheduled playdate, but we've had a cold this week. I'm getting over it, just now "clearing out" as I call it. No more fever, the only cough is voluntary to try and purposely clear out mucus stuck in my throat. But my voice is still raspy. My oldest is completely well. My youngest no longer has a fever, finally slept well last night, but still has a clogged up nose and I suspect it is just because he's a baby and has a harder time "clearing out" the excess mucus. He's been about a day ahead of me with this cold, and started feeling better and fever dropped a full 12 hours before me very early yesterday. I'm occasionally wiping his nose still today. No other symptoms.

I've read that you can be contagious up to 2 weeks after a cold. Do we quarintine ourselves for two more weeks? Do I cancel the long awaited playdate and reschedule several weeks from now? Not to mention, if kids get approximately 12 colds a year, and you aren't supposed to send them to school as long as they are contagious, that is a LOT of missed school.

Family helps watch my children when I work, but for a short time when they were unavailable we did use daycare and I was honestly shocked when they considered kids "ok" to go back into care. Meaning, if the goal was to not spread it, I felt it was much too early. But then again, I can't afford to take 1-2 whole weeks off of work all the time either. In fact, whenever my coworker's children are sick and she's only off for 1 day and then sends them back to daycare/school the next day, I can't imagine they get over a cold/virus/illness that fast.

Do I just inform them ahead of time that our symptoms are almost all gone and let them decide based on their level of germophobia if we cancel or not (probably what I am going to do), cancel it altogether since it will be a in a public indoor play space where we could possibly spread it to others that are not even included in our specific playgroup, or just go because common colds are just the way of life and its impossible to quarantine ourselves at all times and never spread anything?

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

I wouldn't say you can not go out period like running to the store if you really need something but I wouldn't purposely expose to other children. If yours or your children's drainage is green you still have an infection.

ETA: One of the reasons to think about is even though it a cold for you, children that have weak immune systems or asthma ect can get pretty sick off just a cold.

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Old 02-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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It's hard to know for sure when it's safe to go meet people after being sick. I've always heard though that you should wait 24 hours after having a fever to go back to school.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

Honestly, I don't worry about just colds. If there's no fever, we go about our normal daily whatever - assuming we're feeling up to it, that is.
We can't sit at home and never go out for 2 weeks every time someone has a cold - with all 6 of us, that would mean, really, never going anywhere!
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #5
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

if it's you with a raspy throat and a runny nose, I don't care. You're not going to be wiping your germs all over toys.

if your kid has green snot running down their face, that ooks me out. If it's a baby that's just sitting in your lap or whatever while the older kids play, that's okay with me. Just make sure any toys you give the baby are your toys.

as far as fevers go, I generally say you're good 24 hours after it breaks.

I'm pretty liberal in some senses when it comes to this stuff. Colds are part of life, really. Now stomach bugs? lol - that's another story
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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We continue as normal if we've been fever free for at least 24 hours, the snot is clear and the kid is acting their normal happy self. Otherwise, it's just a cold and life continues as normal.

For a play date I would mention that we have colds and if the other family doesn't want to deal with it, we reschedule. But most people aren't concerned with colds - that we're friends with anyhow.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

Snot is clear, by the time the playdate comes around we'll be about 60hrs post fever. Baby is 'clearing out' clear snot, no green. And most of the time his nose is dry until for some reason large amounts come out and it needs wiped, then he's dry again for a long time. It definitely is not a constant drip. Baby is nearly 11months so he wouldn't just sit on my lap the entire time, and there will be a 14 month old and a 7 month old, along with other preschoolers, so he'll have contact with a baby younger than him.

I tend to agree with you, canadian.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhianna'sMommy View Post
We continue as normal if we've been fever free for at least 24 hours, the snot is clear and the kid is acting their normal happy self. Otherwise, it's just a cold and life continues as normal.

For a play date I would mention that we have colds and if the other family doesn't want to deal with it, we reschedule. But most people aren't concerned with colds - that we're friends with anyhow.
Exactly.

My kids go to daycare unless they have fevers, puking, or the runs. If I stayed home with them every time they had a cold, I had a cold I would get fired from my job since I wouldn't work all winter.

As for play dates I mention it to the other mom but it is never a big deal. considering the one person we do 90% of our playdates with our kids are in the same daycare so they are already around each other.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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Re: colds and contagiousness - when is it okay to go back out?

clear snot never worries me
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