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How do I approach a mother who is not getting the hint that her child gets my child sick every time he is near him?

Since the beginning of the school year I have been taking a child of one of my husbands co-workers to school. The child has had the most horrible cough I have ever heard since I started taking him. It worried me because I have a 4 year old and a 8 month old of my own who I do not want to get sick. I have mentioned it to his mother numerous times and she says it is nothing. Her excuses are always a little sketchy. I asked her once if he had been tested for pertussis and she said the doctors told her he was borderline. Um that makes no sense the test is either positive or negative. Then I mentioned that he was weezing and coughing one day after he had been playing in the house kinda hard and just wanted to make sure that he did not have asthma or anything. She replyed that her doctor told her that children do not get asthma before 3, which is not true, and he is 5. She also showed up at my front door on a Monday morning and said, as he was walking in the door, by the way Saturday we noticed that he had lice but we shaved his head. I mean I know these things happen but really she had known for 2 days. I do not know anything about her circumstances and I do not want to sound like a snob but my children have hardly ever been sick and certainly never had lice. I am only looking out for her child as well as mine by asking her these questions. If he is sick then I need to know and if it is just asthma or something then I need to know that as well so I know that the cough is not an illness that my kids will get. After he first started comming both of my children got coughs and ear infections, which took my 8 month old a while to get over. Recently my 4 year old has had a sore throat and cough resembling the one this child has as well as his inner ear being really red. We started him on an antibiotic and I called and let her know that the cough that her child had may be more than just a cough because my son started coughing yesterday and is now on an antibiotic. Her only response was so are you still keeping my son. She doesn't seem to care if her or my children are sick and I am at a loss for what to do. She never lets me know when he will not need picked up and she never seems to know his schedule, in fact I have to tell her half the time he has a half day or they are off on this day. Not to mention he wreaks of cigarettes when he arrives in the morning at 4:50 a.m. I am kinda at a loss with what to say. I do not want to offend her but at this point every time my kids are around her child they get sick and they have never been sick before. His behavior and language are horrific, and I just do not want my children to learn to talk and behave like that and I certainly do not want my children to keep getting sick. She doesn't seem to be getting the hint when I try to approach it nicely. She does pay me 100 dollars a week to drop him off at school and pick him up and keep him on days he has off. I just do not know what to do at this point but I can not justify my kids being exposed to his behavior and illness. Especially for 100 dollars. It is just extra money it is not like we live off of it. I kinda started doing it more as a favor than anything because she didn't have anyone to take her kid to school and I thought he would be at the same private school as my son but now he is not he is in public school in the other direction. I am not sure whether to just say she needs to find other arangements or to try to talk to her. But how do you say hey dumb ass your kids is always sick why do you not take your kid to the doctor when he is obviously sick in a nice way. She did take him to urgent care one time for a stomach ache but really he needs a regular doctor. Any advice would be greatly appreciated with an idea of how to approach the subject. Thank you in advance.

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Asked by Lindy022482 at 10:27 PM on Dec. 12, 2010 in Kids' Health

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Oh my gosh this is terrible! that poor sweet boy. Honey this mother is neglectful as hell. The cigarette smoke is probably what is making the poor thing so sick. Cigarettes can cause infections that are impossible to get rid of. If he is exposed to cigarette smoke that badly, and is sick, that can be a deadly combination believe it or not. Over 100,000 children die each year of complications caused by second hand smoke. You need to call CPS and make a report about EVERYTHING. They can at least check it out and make sure this child is getting the help he needs. You can make an anonymous report. you HAVE to. Poor poor boy.

    Answer by Arkaidy at 10:33 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Maybe an anonymous call to child services? A very specific phone call telling them everything you just posted. And yes you should have her make other arrangements.

    Answer by Noosa at 10:34 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • I would just tell her that it's too much for you to be carting him and your other kids around. 5am is EARLY!!! That's nuts... just tell her you can't do it anymore and she needs to find someone else and leave it at that.

    Some kids are sick more than others, so who knows on that front... leave it to her.

    Answer by LeanneC at 10:35 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • I agree with everyone else. She is obviously being neglectful. Good luck

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 10:35 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • If you don't need the money, I think I would just tell her that it's too difficult to get the kids to different schools, and because they are in different schools their schedules and days off don't always line up, so she will need to make other arrangements. I wouldn't bother to get into anything isn't really necessary.

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:36 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • I would tell her that she has two weeks to find new care for him.

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 10:37 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • wow! the cough could just be because he is around the cigarette smoke all the time! and imo kids who are around smokers a lot get sick more often but thats just me! i would talk to the mom again and be a little more stern about it! if nothing changes then i would stop taking the child! its not worth it for ur kids to be around a child who misbehaves and is sick a lot! good luck!

    Answer by Caroline2010 at 10:39 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Well first of all I would tell her that you are very sorry but you cannot keep exposing your kids to illness like the one her son so clearly has! The main priority is YOUR kids. And if this poor little boy is making your kids sick, well then you need to keep them away from eachother until he is better...which from the sound of it, isn't going to be any time soon. I would tell her again that she needs to take her child to the doctor because he sounds really ill. If she still doesn't, well then maybe CPS does need to be called. If she is refusing to acknowledge her child's health and well-being, well then that, my friend, is child neglect and child endangerment.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 10:41 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Ark is right - if you think it would help-you should take to her more directly invite her over for coffee one morning and tell her your conserns and be very forceful that you think he needs to see a doctor and about the smoke. If you feel she can not take this criticisum well - then you need to call someone who can help. CPS could be the answer, but that is something you have to be prepared for when she finds out it was you who called - because yes, even if you do it anonymously - it can and will be on the reports and she can ask for the info directly and they have to tell her.

    Answer by Tonesgirl at 10:41 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • WOW. If you can't call CPS (and I would think that would be awkward) then quit helping her. It's not worth the money and stress you're taking on....chances are, your kids may have gotten sick by this kid but maybe not. If there is smoking in the home, the kid has asthma. Asthma kids that aren't treated with an inhaler cough all the time. Sounds like she cannot afford to take him to the doc or something. She's sounding very negligent and overall I feel bad for that kid not being cared for properly. This is a bad scene. Tell her you can no longer be the driver because it's too stressful. Even if you need to lay it all out and say "HE'S ALWAYS SICK!!!!" then do it.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 10:57 PM on Dec. 12, 2010

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