I am the mom of four boys from ages 1- 14. I can confidently say that over the years I have learned a thing or two. Or, maybe I should say I've realized how much I didn't know and wasn't prepared for? That sounds more like it. I'm sure you can imagine the trips we've made to the ER in the middle of the night or the middle of the day... whenever the occasion arises. I'm sure you've been there yourself a time or two. A need to make the trip is enough to invoke stress, but the process soon to come is enough to put a mom over the edge. Social security numbers, shot records, insurance cards, medical history, allergies, past surgeries, date of birth, emergency phone numbers and you haven't even seen the doctor yet.
Then the fumbling through the purse and phone calls home to find certain documents begins to ensue. How many times have you watched someone else do this or maybe you've done it yourself? I know I have done it too many times to count. The last time it happened we were in the emergency room because my second oldest had stuck a Lego man up his nose. No, that was not a typo. If you're laughing now you should have seen the legs hanging out. If I hadn't been so irritated trying to figure out where his social security card was I might have laughed myself.
Back to the point of this article.
I decided that day that I would find a way to streamline the whole emergency process. What I have now is an evolution of what I began 9 years ago. Over time I've tweaked it to make it more efficient and effective for our family. I hope that our experience can benefit you too.
Here is our Life Management Binder. Though it contains more than just emergency information I can assure you that is the main reason one might need it. The one instance when saving time is crucial is during an emergency situation.
On the inside front cover of this binder is where all of the emergency phone numbers are kept. Fire, ambulance, police, doctors, family and such are all located here. I also have our home address, phone number, and names and birthdays on this page. This is beneficial for the kids or a babysitter. If they ever have to call 911 to report an incident then the information they need is at their fingertips. It also helps moms when you are in shock because your kid just drank anointing oil and you have to call poison control. Yes, it could happen.
Within the binder I have business card holders that I use for storing the kids social security and insurance cards.
Each child has a "Quick Stats" sheet. I update this sheet once a year. On it I have a recent photo, the child's fingerprints, and important information like date of birth, height/weight, allergies, medical conditions and such. I made this one is Microsoft Word but you can use any program to create it and make it as pretty or plain as you like.
I keep these quick stats sheets in a page protector. Behind this sheet I keep copies of other things that are relevant to that child: birth certificate, shot records, medical documents and anything else we may need. These days when an emergency occurs I am organized enough to streamline the process and get to back to loving on my babies while waiting to be seen. This would have been very helpful nine years ago when my then three year old walked around the waiting room showing everyone his "booger soldier" except that because he had this thing in his nose it sounded more like "move over". The more people looked at him like "what did you say?" the louder he got. I'm fairly certain some of the old ladies were scared of him. No, I'm not kidding.
So please learn from our mistakes. Lego soldiers have been sacrificed to bring this information to you. Get a family binder and load it with the emergency information you will need. Teach your kids how to use it and keep it in a spot where it is accessible to everyone. You can even take it with you on family trips and vacations. It is well worth the time to put it together.