Q. I was at the post office with my son, who had just gotten over a four-week cough. But a 3-year-old girl tried to kiss him and lick his lollipop. The little girl's mother did nothing. What am I to do in these types of situations?
A. Kids and germs are inseparable; if you try to keep them apart, you'll drive yourself silly (and likely get sick yourself in the process!). That said, you probably shouldn't let strange girls lick your son's lollipop, so to speak. I might have said something to the other mom like, "Excuse me, but my son's just getting over a cold. Probably best we don't let our kids get too familiar while he's still coughing and sneezing, don't you think?" That tosses the ball in her court, because really, it's her child who's at risk of catching whatever nasties your son's still carrying.
It also might be wise (but certainly not necessary) to tote extra lollipops in your bag for just such an occasion. Oh, wait: then you might get trapped in one of those "my child doesn't eat sugar, thanks" conversations, which you don't really want to have at the post office. Hope the line wasn't too long!
Denise Schipani, a freelance writer in Huntington Station, New York, is the mother of two boys.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2007.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.