Back to school: Make sure your kids have medical identification and emergency contacts

New lunchbox. Check. Notebooks. Check. Pencils. Check. Emergency phone numbers. Check?

Parents and caregivers may have a checklist this week to help them
ensure their child is ready to go back to school.  However, many
probably haven’t thought to add ‘preparing their child for what to do in
the event of a medical emergency’ to their list.

Heading back to school means children (especially young adults) have
more freedom and independence. That also means mom or dad isn’t right by
his/her child’s side every minute of the day, especially when he/she
gets hurt on the playground or for teenagers, gets in a car accident on
the way home from school.

But mom and dad, don’t panic just yet! There are a few easy and
simple things you can do right now to help your child be prepared for a
medical emergency and unexpected trip to the emergency department:

– Handwritten medical card: For a quick, low-tech
fix, have your child place a handwritten folded card with any
significant health problems, medications being taken and any allergies
that he/she has in his/her backpack, wallet or purse near an
identification card. Including the phone number for your family doctor
can make it easier for healthcare workers to find out information about
your child.

– Download an app: Almost everyone today has a smart
phone, older children included. There are a few apps that can be used to
store your health information which you can update regularly. Most of
these apps offer the option to keep vital and personal health
information behind a password-protected area. However, you can make some
of that information available in the event of an emergency to assist
those taking care of you. If your child has a smart phone, help them
download a health information app and keep it updated.

– ICE your child’s phone: No, I’m not talking about putting your child’s phone on ice. ICE stands for in case of emergency
and these three letters can be placed in front of the name of a close
contact such as a parent, sibling, etc. Many emergency responders will
search a critical patient’s cell phone for the ICE label to help them
get in contact with family that can provide crucial information when
minutes really count. And better yet, this option works on even the
oldest versions of cell phones.

– Commercial products: You may be familiar with the
original version of the medical identification card, the so-called
medical alert bracelet. These remain a staple for those with certain
medical conditions such as seizure disorders, diabetes, etc. However
modern technology has provided a number of other options to help you or
your child be medically identifiable to emergency medical providers.
Many of the companies that offer medical alert style bracelets also
market other medical ID products.  A brief search on the internet can
help you decide if one of these products would be best for your child.

 

Whichever method you and your child decide is best, it’s important to
make sure your child has medical identification communicating vital
health information in the event of a serious medical emergency. Make
sure you add this quick emergency preparedness step to your back to
school checklist!

Read more at: http://uofmhealthblogs.org/general/back-to-school-make-sure-your-kids-have-medical-identification-and-emergency-contacts/24617/

 

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