Schools and Illness: One More Worry for Parents

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We live in an age of parental uncertainty, especially when it comes to the safety of our children at schools. We worry about gangs and teenage pregnancy, about bullying and school shootings, and then about the more simple worries like broken hearts and bad decisions. In Sacramento, California, a new and terrifying worry has emerged.

According to local reports, at least five students at a single high school have tested positive for tuberculosis, a potentially deadly disease. Even if cured, tuberculosis can do long-term damage to the lungs and other sensitive tissues of the body. Not to mention the fallout from the diagnosis can linger for decades, making it harder to get jobs in certain fields after a positive test.

Terrible findings like this are always disturbing, and always make us wonder if our kids are truly safe. Most disturbing of all, in this instance the student who was patient zero for the outbreak tested positive months earlier, and little to nothing was done by the local school district or county health department to prevent the outbreak from occurring. Parents continued to send their children off to school, unaware of the danger lurking in the very air they breathed.

As parents, it is our duty to protect our children from everything we can. Most dangers we can see, but infectious diseases are more difficult to prevent. Please, encourage your children to:

  • stay away from friends and peers who display any symptoms of illness, such as coughing or being visibly flushed or short of breath;
  • wash their hands often, using water that is hot enough to kill diseases and an antibacterial soap;
  • never share personal items, including combs and makeup, with their friends;
  • stay home if necessary if there is an outbreak of a disease.

Again, these parents likely did all they could to keep their children safe. It is not unreasonable to keep children home from school unless you know it is necessary. If you or a loved one has become ill as a result of negligence on the behalf of school or work, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. It can be very expensive to be sick, and those responsible should help pay to make you well.