- Establish a plan before the crisis hits
- Arrange contact numbers
- Keep emergency numbers and first aid kit handy
- Take child CPR classes
Establish a plan before the crisis hits
- Share information on allergies and other medical history and even write it down and carry it with you. You can obtain a summary from your child's pediatrician if necessary
- If there is an accident at daycare or school, who will respond? You may decide on the parent nearest the school or a relative who is nearby if both of you are some distance away at work
- Know where the nearest hospital is if you need to drive there. During an emergency is not the time to be trying to find driving directions or getting lost
Arrange contact numbers
Cell phones are invaluable. Swap cell phone numbers and state whether they should be used only for emergencies or whether it is OK to use at other times. Respect the agreement. Have a backup contact number or person. If you can't be reached by cell phone e.g. in a meeting, have a designated person that can be reached who can come let you know what is going on. Call the other parent as soon as you possibly can. If you cannot make the call, ask someone else such as a nurse, coworker or neighbor to call your ex.
Joint legal custody
Understand whether you have the power to make major medical decisions by yourself. If in doubt, check with your attorney. Joint legal custody usually means that major medical decisions should be made together with the other parent. If an emergency decision has to be made, try to contact the other parent if they are not present. At all times though, the health of your child comes first and there may be circumstances especially in an emergency where you have to make a decision by yourself.
Keep a list of emergency numbers with you. This should include the other parent's emergency contact numbers, your child's doctors number and poison control number at a minimum. Remember storing these on a cellphone is a good idea but you should also keep a written list with you in case you forget your cellphone or the battery is not charged.
- Past advice was to keep a bottle of ipecac syrup at home. Only use this if directed to by the poison control center or a doctor. Going to the emergency room and use of activated charcoal or other methods is often preferred
- Keep a first aid kit in the house and in your car
- Take infant and child CPR classes. Methods used for infants and children differ from those used for adults. These classes as well as first aid classes are often available at your local hospital