It is a fact that sometime, someplace you may be separated from your child during an emergency, at a shopping mall, during a flood or simply just lost. We all think it will not happen, but we need to be prepared just in case.
Your child with a disability needs identification.
- Use a medic alert or plastic covered identity card or both.
- Have your non-verbal or child with other disability carry a pocket card that says: My name is __________. I am (blind, deaf, unable to speak, paralyzed, can’t swallow, etc. ________________. I need ______________________. On the reverse side print the name of the emergency contact with phone numbers and email address. Laminate the card. Teach the child to present the card.a This enables a quicker response, and it is also handy when trying to communicate in other situations.
- Do not keep your child’s identity on the wheelchair or other mobility equipment as your child may be separated from the equipment.
- Teach your child to point to the location of embedded identifying and medical microchip.
Your child’s medical equipment needs identification.
- Emergency rescuers are more interested in saving lives than equipment. Do not waste time demanding equipment rescue when you are taken from an emergency.
- Place an adhesive (not a tied on tag that may be lost) identification marker on a wheelchair or other equipment. If your child becomes separated from equipment, they may get it back.
OTHER LIFE-SAVING SUGGESTIONS
Program 911 into your cell phone.
Place your child’s vial of life in your refrigerator. The vial has emergency information and medication list, and with the vial comes a sticker for your front door that lets an emergency responder quickly assess the situation. Order vial of life on line. An alternate information tool is the emergency wheel that gives an emergency responder information about your child’s needs. Wheels are available free from our resource office, or from www.ehmi.org or www.ready.gov. Be sure to list “nothing by mouth” if your child has a choking problem. Post a picture of your child in a plastic bag on the refrigerator next to the emergency wheel. This quickly tells an emergency responder who is to be given first consideration in rescue.
Place an oxygen identification sticker on your front door if your child uses oxygen. Oxygen ignites and flares quickly.
Keep a flashlight handy at all times. The Green glo flashlight has saved many lives. It has a flasher and a built in whistle. Take it with you when rescued. If your child has seizures, do not use the flasher unless it is an extreme emergency.
Keep a “Go Bag” that is stocked with water and other necessities. It is unrealistic to stock it with medications, but keep a list of them in the “Go Bag” along with a change of clothes, and insurance information, names of persons to be contacted, and doctor’s names. Keep the “Go Bag”, undisturbed and at the same location where you can find it and a rescuer can grab it in an emergency. The Emergency Wheel suggests items to be kept in the “Go Bag.”
THESE SUGGESTIONS ARE FROM NAOMI MITCHUM. THEY ARE NOT OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS.