Medical Care Provisions for kids staying home while parents are out of the country
March 25, 2008 7:15 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are traveling out of the country, and our 2 year old twins will be staying with my parents for the duration of the trip. We plan to be gone for 10 days. What sort of information do we need to leave with my parents so they can provide necessary medical care (if necessary)?

AFAIK: pediatrician contact information, copies of insurance cards, and some sort of "power of medical something-or-other" documents?
posted by ca_little to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Any known allergies, a supply (and written listing) of any current meds and med schedule if necessary.
posted by Asherah at 7:18 PM on March 25, 2008

I believe the paper in question is called Power of Medical Attorney.
posted by DMan at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

IANAD, but I am a nanny, and parents are usually required to have release form (signed by both parents) giving the caregiver (by name) permission to seek medical attention for the child(ren). Insurance cards, your pediatrician's number, any other emergency contact info you would usually give out to caregivers. Seconding Asherah's response, as well.
posted by nikksioux at 7:26 PM on March 25, 2008

Man I'm not sure what states ya'll live in, but here in the old WV, hospitals are required to provide medical care to anyone under 18, regardless of "permission" or insurance. There have even been devout religious people sue the state for forcing their children to have life saving surgeries...and lost.

I'm going to say that most likely they have a generally pretty good idea how to take care of pediatric issues---they are, in fact, your parents, yes?

I can't imagine that anything more than a "Margo and John Hackensack are empowered to make any decision regarding the health and wellbeing of Jack and Hill Hackensack", notarized by the notary at the bank would be necessary.
posted by TomMelee at 7:57 PM on March 25, 2008

Here's a good sample medical release you can use to draft your own.
posted by katemonster at 8:19 PM on March 25, 2008

I suggest you make sure the grandparents know the blood type for each child, and I do also think it's important they receive from you:
-a copy from the twins' medical files detailing their birth-current immunizations
-the contact information for the twins' dentist
-a family medical history for the other side of the family (in regards to severe illnesses and possible anesthesia complications for anyone closely related)
-contact information for two more people close to you willing to take over care if something should happen to grandparents, such as influenza or broken arm or something unexpected
-a tape recording of you both taking turns reading them their favorite bedtime stories (comes in handy when someone gets sick and is missing mommy & daddy so dearly)..make sure grandparents have a tape player handy though!

Have fun on your trip!
posted by mamaraks at 8:21 PM on March 25, 2008

The purpose of a document like this is to provide information to medical professionals A) that grandparents might not know (medical insurance info), or B) that the grandparents can't provide because they themselves are in the next bed in the ER, unable to speak.

If you want a copy of what we used when my in-laws took our daughter on vacation, MefiMail me. I typed out a Word doc, my husband and I both signed it, and my in-laws kept it in their glove compartment.

Include identifying info about your children (hair and eye color, height, weight, how to tell them apart if they're identical, etc.), and make sure your parents have recent, good-quality, scannable pictures of them. Not an answer to your question about medical care, but I suggest it because it wasn't something I would have thought of on my own, so maybe you might not either. Pics are, of course, important should your children become lost somehow.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:33 PM on March 25, 2008

Current weight is very useful because most children's medication is dosed based on weight. Also, date of birth and social security number are often used as identifiers in the doctor's office. Make sure they have the poison control number near the phone! Any time your kid puts something bizarre in his/her mouth, the poison control center is who you would call. Activated charcoal is useful to have in the house - it can bind to most poisons in the gut and prevent them from being absorbed and the poison control center may tell you to use it. Parents used to be told to keep syrup of ipacac in the house (to induce vomiting if needed), but that's no longer the standard recommendation, activated charcoal is. A list of current meds they are on, plus phone #s for their doctor and pharmacy.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:44 AM on March 26, 2008

All the pertinent info is necessary, as well as a quick call to the kids doctor mentioning that your parents will be in charge for a couple weeks, and is there anything the doctor will need to be able to provide care?

And don't worry too much- your parents managed to keep you alive, they will probably be able to figure out what needs to be done in event of an emergency.
posted by gjc at 7:45 AM on March 26, 2008

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