As a parent, I am paranoid that something will happen to my child when I’m not around. Everytime I’m at a movie or event without “Em,” I flinch when my cell phone buzzes. I just know the babysitter is calling to tell me Em got sick or burned or broke a bone or something. Of course, it’s never happened (knock on wood), but what if it did?!?
Flashback a decade or two ago to O’Neill Park, Irvine California. My parents have been camping regularly for as long as I can remember. For awhile we used to camp for a weekend at O’Neill Park. My sister and I were allowed to alternate who could bring a friend with them. There are two distinct memories I have of O’Neill Park:
- Riding out the Northridge Earthquake in a trailer
- My parents having to take a friend of mine to the hospital
The earthquake is actually not that exciting; camping trailers are made for shaking and bumping and I can’t imagine a safer place to be during a quake; water, food, gas, electricity, shelter and tightly locked cabinets. The event that’s relevant to my post is the trip to the hospital.
My friend, my sister, other kids whose families were camping with us and I were playing in the creek that runs through the park (now a restricted area). My friend slipped on a rock in the creek and gashed her leg. I remember a lot of blood, probably because the water was spreading it around. Anyway, my folks had to take her to the hospital while my sister and I stayed behind with other families camping with us.
It was that incident that made my parents decide to always get a medical authorization form for any friends we brought along with us; having to wait to get treatment for a kid because their parents are unreachable is not a pleasant scenario.
Which brings me back to the reason for this post: Medical Treatment Authorization.
When parents go out for the night and leave their child(ren) with a sitter, hopefully the parents have left contact information for each of the parents and the location they’ll be at. But another piece or two of paper should also be left behind: something that gives the sitter permission to have a doctor treat the child if the parents are unreachable.
I used to type out a long Word document that had my information, Em’s information, where I’d be and how someone could reach me, along with the doctor’s information, hospital information and the fact that Em has no known allergies. But I wanted a signed form with the right wording on it.
Rocket Lawyer will take you step-by-step in the creation of this document. Questions about who will be watching your child, your child(ren)’s name(s) and date(s) of birth, what kind of treatment you will allow, when the document takes effect, other emergency contacts, doctor’s contact information, hospital name and address, your insurance information and when the document will no longer be valid.
The even better part? You can create a free account on Rocket Lawyer, save the document for later referrence and you don’t have to pay to get your saved document! You can print it right then and there without cost (really, you don’t even have to put in your credit card information!).
AND, nothing you put into the form is considered a required field. For my own document, I left blank the following: name of the person watching my child, when the document takes effect, and I chose to have the document valid until I choose to terminate it. That way I can print (and save to my own computer) the document whenever I need it and just fill-in-the blanks!
Just 5 minutes of your time can save your sitter the trouble of having to wait for your permission to get emergency treatment when Junior decides to climb the bookshelf!
I was not paid for this post. I have no affiliation with Rocket Lawyer or their subsidiaries.