“They just lifted the ban on kids in hospital,” my friend, a local nurse, informed me. “And let me tell you, it’s madness.” She went on to describe situations where people were crowding hospital rooms, bringing the whole family to visit their loved one who had the misfortune to end up in the hospital. “With this economy, there are no private rooms,” she went on. “Families are coming into a shared hospital room, crowding up the whole place. And that person’s neighbor has to also share a room with all these strangers. People are trying to get better, attempting to get some rest, and there are screaming children in the rooms.” Just this past week, a mother had left her crying baby in the hallway while she visited. A patient in another room pulled my friend aside, pleading with her, “I just need to get some rest.”
“And hospitals are dirty,” my friend continued. “It’s not that they aren’t sanitized regularly, but you have to figure it’s full of sick people. Some of these people have diseases that are very contagious. In fact, when nurses get off duty and go home, we strip out of our clothes and don’t let them touch anything else.” While nurses are diligent in making sure that none of the bacteria and germs from the hospital are making themselves comfortable in their homes, families are bringing their children into this environment and letting them play on the floor, sit on the hospital beds, and be in the presence of patients who could very well pass on something serious. They are basically rolling around in all of the sick germs that are crawling all over everything in the hospital. And then, when the family comes home and their kids settle in, the germs are also settling in. They are basically inviting these germs to inhabit their homes.
“And what of the kids themselves?” my friend asked. “Kids are full of ailments as they pass colds and the flu between each other. If there were a cancer patient going through chemotherapy, or a patient who had just suffered a heart attack, their health is being compromised by a child who might be sick.
“Why do families insist on bringing their kids to the hospital?”
After hearing her describe the conditions that exist in a hospital, I was seriously questioning whether I even wanted to enter a hospital again. Thing is, without working in a hospital, it’s easy to miss the fact that it is a building full of sick people. And it’s easy to overlook the opportunity for germs and bacteria to multiply and attach themselves to every healthy person that enters, including children.
Listening to Heather Irwin of BiteClubEats.com on KZST this morning, she and Brent discussed the appropriateness of kids going to fancier restaurants with their parents. Heather was a little more lenient on the idea that some kids can behave themselves in a nicer restaurant (I’d love to see her reaction after bringing the Taz, a kid who was famous in his younger years for rolling around on the floor under the table and picking at leftover gum some classless person had left behind). Brent, on the other hand, was adamant that kids do not belong in a nicer restaurant at all. In fact, even moderate restaurants were questionable. (Note: Heather is wondering about restaurants that have the best kids’ menus, and the conversation is taking an obvious slant towards the inappropriateness of kids in restaurants. Check it out, and chime in)
And then there are the people going wine tasting, and even the bar, toting kids in strollers….
In an area where there are so many families, Sonoma County is generally really kid friendly. There are countless events going on that are geared specifically for families with children of all areas (for example, the ones that are right in the Events Calendar on SantaRosaMom.com). But that still leaves some events that are not geared for families, ones that many claim shouldn’t be. Yet there are still families that will push the envelope and let their kids accompany them to events and places where other adults might not be too pleased to see them. Not to mention, these days it is hard to go out anywhere without a kid on a leash. Hey, babysitting is expensive! And then, of course, there are the families with children who are so well-behaved, and a large part of that is because they grew up going to fancier restaurants and museums, taking part in events that require them to be quiet and still.
Do you think that there are some places that should be strictly off limits to children?
Have you raised your kids going to fancier events where children are usually scarce?
As a parent of a small child, do you ever feel discriminated against when visiting an event or business with your child?