Who is on Your Child’s Emergency Form?

I have to apologize, because this post is only a little funny.

Here’s the semi-funny part. On Halloween, I actually managed to provide an overly authentic blood spill in the parking lot of MY CHILD’S PRESCHOOL. I whacked my own head (repeat: MY OWN HEAD) on the corner of my Honda door while loading my little costumed child back into the car after the preschool Halloween party. Within moments, I had so much blood running down my face that I had to appeal to some poor people in the car parked next to me, and they retrieved Cormac and helped me into the preschool office for assistance.

That’s all not really blog-relevant, but I’m getting to my point. Once I was sitting in the chair with the nurse putting pressure on the gash in my head, several very helpful women started asking me who they should call and pulled out my child’s emergency form. Who was on it? My parents…who live 45 minutes away and both work full-time in buildings that do not allow cell phone usage.

Hmmmm. Smart, no?

My husband works a half hour away. I had one child at a nearby elementary school, needing to be picked up in two hours. The other child was sitting with me, watching the blood flow. I needed to be driven to the ER.

Who could I call to pick up my William from school while I got my head stitched? I thought of my neighbors, who were on William’s emergency form. But I didn’t have their phone numbers programmed into my cell phone because I see them daily and always talk to them over gmail messenger or on Facebook.

I tired messaging both of these friends, but of course they were not sitting at their computers, awaiting my “gashed my head can you pick up William” message. They were working and running errands! The true idiocy of my emergency contact choices was revealed to me.

Thankfully, a woman who taught William last year was kind enough to go to his school, attend his class Halloween party in my stead and take him to McDonald’s and I was able to arrange this via phone with his school office. My husband arrived as quickly as he could and took Cormac and me to the ER to get my head stitched up. I was so touched by the kindness and concern of all of these wonderful people who helped me in the parking lot and the office.

I got a really realistic Frankenstein costume in time for Trick or Treating, and I’m resting at home today. I’ll have a scar on my forehead to remind me to avoid the corner of the car door in the future. Life is good and I’m lucky I didn’t hit my eye instead of my head!

I’m just asking you to rethink the contacts on your own emergency forms and consider if they are really practical. If your contacts are not very close by, or not usually available, there might be better choices. Also ask yourself if they have car seats installed, because we had to move a Britax into someone else’s car at a time when we really just wanted to get to the hospital. If you get a bleeding head wound in the preschool parking lot, you don’t want to add the feeling of being an idiot to your problems. Trust me on this one.

And thanks so much to the retired doctor and nurse in the next car, who hopped out like nothing crazy was happening, put pressure on my head and said “Oh, my. You need some sutures, dear.”

Please learn from my mistakes and share with your fellow parents. I think we all tend to assume that, if an emergency occurs, WE will be the one to respond. I never considered that I would actually cause the emergency…but it can easily happen to anyone. Well, see if you can avoid the sharp corner of your car door…that is a good start. Also get your forms in order, though.


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