Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Road Safety: What If You're Not Conscious?

Every parent can relate to the "what if" dialogue that runs through my mind. We shoo it away not wanting to think ill or dwell on all the things that could go wrong and just hope that the worst won't happen to us. We can't imagine not having our little ones with us or heaven forbid us not being here for them. It is a universal fear.

There are things we do that offer us some peace of mind and if you haven't done any of these (which honestly we haven't and need to) then maybe it's time to be proactive and silence some of those "what ifs" that plague us. Some of the BIGGER things are a bit more daunting (like setting up a will, trust, or designating guardians), but maybe we should start off with something smaller and a bit less intimidating.

One of the things that I fear the most is being unconscious after a car accident (if you knew my track record you'd totally understand why). If I do not have all of my faculties (or if I'm knocked out), I will not be able tell the EMT's about my daughter needs or her medical conditions. Who is going to tell them all the things they need to know about Rae? We always assume we'll be fine or they'll be able to contact the right person, but that's not always the case. There are a few simple solutions to this anxiety inducing fear.

Here are a few helpful products and ideas I've found:

1. An informational sticker for your vehicle: You can find this one on Amazon.com and it is $2.89 per sticker (plus $1.50 shipping…I'm sure price is subject to change). I have one on each side of our van. It gives me some peace of mind at a low cost.

This one is made by Magnet America.

2. Tape emergency contact information (and any other pertinent info) onto your child's car seat. I have seen this on Pinterest and still haven't made one (it's so simple, why have I not done this yet?!?). You can find a list of information to include over at Don't Pat the Belly and remember to look at your carseat to determine the best place to put your sticker (basically make sure it will fit). Other than the cost of ink, paper, and tape this is almost free!

Image from www.dontpatthebelly.com.
3. There's an app for that! Did you know there is an app you can download call LostFound - Emergency Contact Banner Maker by Doubleforte. The app will allow you to create an image with emergency contact information on it for your wallpaper lock screen. This became more of a necessity when Apple added the passcode lock with their last update. The app is .99 cents! A simple and inexpensive way for emergency responders to know who to contact when you aren't able to tell them. I have the app on my phone and Rae's iPad. The iPad app will allow you to enter more information than the iPhone app so I was able to add Rae's diagnoses (critical ones) and her allergy to penicillin.

Screenshot from iTunes Store.
4. Medical Alert Jewelry: Lauren's Hope offers a large variety of customizable jewelry for everyone (men, women, girls, boys, and pets) that will inform people about your medical needs in the event of an emergency. They are stylish, fun, and functional! We haven't purchased one for Rae yet, but will in the near future. Prices vary depending on the type of bracelet and number of lines.
Purple Lipgloss Medical ID Bracelet by Lauren's Hope.

5. Car Escape Hammer: If you are conscious, but can't get your seatbelt off or your window down you may need one of these handy little hammers (they even have a keychain version). The prices vary (LifeHammer is currently $14.80 on Amazon.com), but you can easily purchase one for under $10 and they are sold at many major retailers. My friend used to worry about getting in an accident,  going off a bridge, and getting trapped in the car with her kids. Then my dad gave her one of these and it gave her a little piece of mind. I have one of these tucked in the side pocket of my door. I know this veers off topic just a tad, but I feel these hammers should be in every vehicle on the road.

I have a few more ideas that may be helpful like small luggage tags for her backpack or an insert that stays in our glovebox with our registration and proof of insurance, but I have not done either of those things yet. This is something that I need to put at the top of my to do list. We are on the road more often than we used to be since Rae started school and my lack of preparedness is being to bother me.

My project for next week is to sit down and create an emergency medical information sheet. It will list Rae's diagnoses, her doctors, her allergies, our preferred hospital, a list of her current medications (dose and time given), her emergency contacts (Daddy, Mimi, and G-Boss), and anything else we feel is important for someone to know about her. I will also do one for myself, but it will be a much shorter list.

It's the holidays and that means people are traveling to see loved ones and friends. Take a couple of minutes to write out your emergency information and give yourself the gift of peace of mind. Be safe out there and make sure those that are there to help have the information they need to in order to help you or your little ones.

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