Advice: Nephew is Sick but we're supposed to go to his Bday party

I’m not sure if this is the best place to post this, but I’d love some advice. We’re supposed to go to our nephew’s bday party tomorrow but my SIL texted me this morning that he has croup. She’s not canceling/rescheduling his party; just giving people a heads up.

We have a 3-year-old daughter, and I’m 15 weeks pregnant. Our daughter has never had croup, but I’m under the impression it’s pretty contagious and can in some cases be somewhat serious? I have a FB acquaintance whose son recently visited the ER because of it (I think he was fine in the end, but certainly scary for everyone).

I don’t really know what to do. I don’t want my daughter (or us) to get sick, but I feel bad if we decide not to go to his party. He didn’t get to have a party last year because of COVID. Plus, my SIL made a big deal about his party recently because he’s been struggling with sharing attention with his little sister. We all went to his sister’s 1st bday party last month and he had a really hard time with her being the center of attention.

A really big part of me wishes my SIL would just reschedule the party for another weekend. I get that she put a lot of effort into planning it and possibly already has food and cake ready to go for tomorrow. I texted my other SIL to see what they were planning to do, but I haven’t heard from her.

Am I overreacting/is croup really not that big of a deal? What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks in advance for any advice or insight :slight_smile:

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I would hate to miss my nephew’s birthday party, but I wouldn’t risk it. In light of everything going on, I would be cautious around anything that could weaken your and your kids’ immune system, especially if you are currently pregnant.

I understand he is struggling because his younger sister seems like she is getting more attention right now, but I would wait until he is well to celebrate with him. When he does get better, see if you can take him out for the day without his sister to celebrate… a trip to the zoo, a meal and the children’s museum, etc.


How old is your nephew? If he has croup, I’m assuming he’s pretty young still, and thus will have zero recollection of this party within a short amount of time. Some kids are more prone toward croup than others, but if I had a three-year old, I wouldn’t want to risk it. [name_m]Even[/name_m] the sniffles can stick around for a while. [name_f]My[/name_f] sister and I know that if one of our kiddos is sick the other bunch is staying away for a while. It’s not rude, or hurtful. It’s just life with kids :slightly_smiling_face:

If I were you, I’d thank your sister emphatically for her good etiquette in explaining the situation to you. I’d explain your caution, and ask what you can do to make it up to them. Maybe you can drop your nephew’s gift off, at any rate, and take home some cake if they have way too much. It also sets a good precedent for future cousin sicknesses, which will definitely happen!


Not a parent but would it be possible to FaceTime or Zoom into the party, so that you can’t get sick but you can still see your nephew?


I completely understand that planning a party is a lot of work and she doesn’t want her son to be disappointed, but she should have rescheduled when she found out he was sick. She can’t expect other people to expose their children to that. It’s not really a fair thing to ask in my opinion.
I would feel bad but honestly I wouldn’t go. I might drop off the present for nephew if she doesn’t want to reschedule.


i personally would pass on going, as it is a pretty contagious illness that I wouldn’t want to risk. Could you possibly promise your nephew a visit when he’s feeling better - just him and his cousin to have a play date and celebrate? Like a “mini party” of sorts?

I wouldn’t go. I can understand this can be upsetting for your SIL and she’d be disappointed, but I wouldn’t risk my children getting croup. And with the whole COVID situation I’m even less inclined to take a risk. To be honest, I think it’s rather irresponsible of your SIL to let this party go ahead. I understand she put a lot of time and effort into it, and that your nephew didn’t have a party last year either, but the health and comfort of my child and the rest of my family would be more important to me.


These were my exact thoughts, but I didn’t want to address it in my original response. Unfortunately, the more this pops up on my notifications list, the more it bothers me. Yes, your nephew didn’t get a party last year and yes his sister seems to be getting quite a bit of attention right now, but it is his parents’ responsibility to not just keep him and their family safe but all of those people they want to be guests too. I’m sorry this doesn’t seem fair to him, but fairness should take a backseat to everyone’s safety, health and wellness.


[name_f]My[/name_f] thoughts were completely with @Rosebeth and @shells15 on this one. I feel COVID has brought awareness to this type of etiquette but just because it’s not COVID shouldn’t necessarily give it a free pass. I’m in a state that currently has no state mandates BUT places can still require screenings (and if not, again, COVID has helped drive the point home)and one of those questions is always “have you or anyone you’ve been around have any of the following symptoms” I’m assuming it’s like that in other places… and personally Inwouldnt want to have to go through the ordeal of COVID testing for me or my children and waiting for our bodies to heal regardless of what actual sickness it is (again who wants to be sick?) if we could avoid it.


Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the responses and the validation that I’m not overreacting for not wanting my family to get sick!

I also agree that it’s irresponsible for my SIL to have the party despite him being sick! It’s strange to me because she’s usually very sensible, so I was really surprised she didn’t reschedule. I’m guessing she was worried about stuff going to waste/her son’s expectations for having a fun party, but it still seems selfish.

We ultimately decided we would mask up and go drop off his presents, say hi, and grab a slice of cake to go. We’ll try to get together and have a fun outing with all the kiddos once everyone is healthy again.

Thank you all! It’s so helpful having a community who understands your concerns :relaxed:


As someone with a partner who had 14 weeks of school ( yes 14) due to croup ( age 15) I would advise not to go. I know it’s sad to miss your nephews party but honestly croup is not fun.