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The Boy Who Cried Sore Throat

Once upon a time there was a little boy who woke up and told his mom that his throat hurt. It was only 6:00am, so she told him she was sorry and to go back to sleep. Because she’s not totally heartless, she let him sleep with her, though.

Upon waking up for the day an hour later, he once again stated that his throat hurt. Because his little brother had been diagnosed with strep throat the week before, she was immediately suspicious that he had developed the same affliction. Out came the flashlight to check for swollen tonsils and/or white spots.

She saw nothing out of the ordinary.

He then promptly asked for a breakfast of waffles, pancakes and sausage. Which he ate happily and without complaint.

He seemed to be feeling better.

His mom let out a sigh of relief and went about making lunches for school.

Until five minutes later when he once again complained that his throat hurt.

She found the thermometer and took his temperature. It was 97.6℉. No fever.

She felt his throat. Enlarged lymph nodes. But, thanks to his heinous seasonal allergies, they’re almost always enlarged. Are they larger than normal?

She sat and pondered what to do in this situation. Normally, a sore throat complaint with no other symptoms would result in a normal day. Off to school he would go.

But, his brother had just had strep throat, so perhaps there WAS some legitimacy to his complaints.

After waffling back and forth, she decided to keep him home. Better to be safe than sorry. If he was indeed developing strep throat, she’d feel especially bad for exposing all of his classmates.

He spent the day eating popsicles, begging to play video games, and talking about how very bored he was. His sore throat seemed to be nothing more than that. A minor sore throat.

He very easily could have, and probably should have, gone to school

She’ll be more wary next time. Even if strep throat is floating around their house.

Have you been in a similar situation? What are your rules for keeping your kids home from school?

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