- Notify the other parent of any illnesses your children have
- Let the other parent know of any doctor appointments
- Allow plenty of phone contact as appropriate
- Make sure both of you have access to the medications your child needs
Notify the other parentCall the other parent, let them know what's going on and discuss the next steps with them if possible. This is not the time to get in an argument so keep a lid on emotions and avoid any blaming language on either side.
Share information on appointments
Let the other parent know about doctors appointments and tests. Hopefully both of you can be present at the doctor's office to give a complete history of the illness especially if your child has gone back and forth between homes. This also gives you an opportunity to ask questions if you have any concerns about your child's illness and to hear about the diagnosis and treatment.
Parenting plan during illness
Decide where your kid should stay while they are ill. You may want to suspend a co-parenting plan or visitation until your child is better. You can ask the doctor if this is necessary if you like. The doctor will be able to give you an unbiased opinion.
Instead provide plenty of phone access or even a visit to your home if it is appropriate and your child is well enough for it. Being able to keep in contact will help relieve the tension and concerns the non-custodial parent might have and this reduces the chance of conflict. Your child will also appreciate their support as well as yours.
Mind your language
If you need information on how your child was feeling when at the other parent's home, ask your ex if they noticed anything unusual. Be careful how you ask questions so that your ex does not feel you are trying to accuse them of anything.
You do not want to give the other parent the impression that you are blaming them. They will likely stop telling you possibly important information and get angry. This is not in your child's best interest.
If the other parent is doing something that is contributing to your child being sick, then try letting them know in the least blaming way you can. Perhaps you can use your child's doctor or nurse to talk to both of you about the issue so it comes from a neutral person.
MedicationsEnsure medications will be available at both homes if you are going to continue with your parenting arrangement. Ask your doctor for two prescriptions if necessary. This is handy if your child moves frequently between homes and if the medication is in one container. Remember medications have to be in a container with the patients name etc on the outside. It is illegal to place medicine in any other container. This avoids any possible accidents where the wrong medication might be given to the child
Chronic illnessesChronic illnesses such as asthma require access to medications no matter where the child is. You need to work out a plan together that includes daycare or school. Communicate with each other on how your kid is doing while they are at your home. You should both be present at the doctors appointments so the doctor can get a sense of how your child is doing overall during time spent at both homes.
The school will need to be informed and receive written permission to give medications if necessary. Talk to the school nurse of details.