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© Gail Underwood Parker

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Focus on Fostering: Family Medical "Go Bags"

Foster families, more than most, need to have a system for organizing and locating medical and identification information, because the family changes.  Foster parents often have different insurance than their kiddos, different contact info, and different people to give medical permissions.  Other families would be wise to have Identification Cards for each family member in an emergency "Go Bag" but for foster families it is even more important. Schools have them.  Pets have them.   Here's a purchase one.  But you can make your own easily.

Make an identification card for EACH member of the family. [That way, as family members are added or subtracted you don't have to start all over, just add or pass one the pertinent card/s.] Here is the information I recommend and don't recommend.

Each Family Member's "Go Bag" Identification Card:
Current Photo 
First Name, Height [if desired approximate weight]  [full name for grownups is ok]
Town and State where you live
1-3 Emergency Phone Numbers  [one of which is not immediate family household]
Crucial Medical History [diabetes, epilepsy, life-threatening allergies, etc.]
Medication List:  any medicines being taken regularly
Family Doctor Name and Phone Number

***Please notice I did NOT include the child's last name. [This is for confidentiality, for protection, and to avoid confusion of a variety of family names.]
***I did NOT include your street address.  This is for protection. In an emergency, the precise address of where you live is not as crucial as a person they can contact.
***If you cannot give permission for medical treatment, be SURE to include the contact info for that person, office, and label it clearly.

Take a new photo each year of children [and of adults if their hair color or style changes significantly].

Try to put the together in a location near the front door, easy to grab and run in case of a medical emergency, easy for someone else to find if someone is looking.  [I keep mine in a small inexpensive photo album [$1 store] with "EMERGENCY INFO"in bright red letters on the front.  It hangs on a hook by the front door. I also have a photocopy of pertinent insurance cards in one of the photo envelopes.]

Note: Friday --- carrying id cards for children and adult

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