I recently had a client who was having surgery, and was leaving her pets in the care of some friends. She left extensive instructions about what her pets eat, what they are allergic to, who their vets are, their medical history and current issues, and any quirks they have such as a favorite toy or special sleeping place.
It made me wonder how many people leave records like this when they leave their small children in the care of another. Whether you're going out for the evening and leaving your children with a babysitter, or going away for a week and leaving your children with your parents, it's a good idea to keep a binder handy with all of the important information:
- Each child's full name, date of birth and social security number.
- Any allergies (these should be in large, red lettering) to foods, medicines, soaps, etc.
- Name and phone number of pediatricians and other doctors seen regularly.
- Any recent or chronic illnesses.
- Name, dosage and location of any medications for each child.
- Name of each child's teacher and grade at school.
- Name of people allowed to visit child, and name of anyone you don't want visiting your child.
- Photocopies of the front and back of any health insurance or dental insurance cards.
- Copy of emergency guardianship proxy document.
- Recent pictures of each child.
While you may know this information like the back of your hand, the people who are watching your children won't, especially in a crisis.
By using a binder to store this information, you can add and change information as needed. In addition, a binder, as opposed to a computer program, is easily accessible and can be grabbed as you are running out the door.