Q: Friends with young, sick children visited with us last weekend. When one has sick children (babies and toddlers who share toys and put them frequently in their mouths), what is the proper etiquette when invited to someone’s home who also have young babies or toddlers? Should they postpone or cancel until their children are feeling well? Once a family is in this situation, what is the most tactful way to handle it so that your guests feel welcome, but your children’s health is protected?
A: It is not correct to take children who are unwell to someone else’s home without notice…it is their obligation to say “Jenny and Ben both have colds. I don’t want to impose their germs on your household so I’m afraid we have to postpone our visit.” You then say how sorry you are, or you can say it’s okay, come anyway. No one should assume their sick children are welcome in another’s home. It is understandable for you to cancel, under the circumstances, rather than set up a situation where your children are exposed to germs that make them unwell.