A paramedic recently recommended having vital information available and visible in vehicles to first responders, especially when a baby is a passenger. In a Facebook post, an EMT simply known as “Kaitlyn” says attaching a simple note on the back of a child’s car seat could help save the child’s life.
The issue? This information can be extremely personal, leaving some parents uncomfortable with having it accessible on a car seat. However, it can be beneficial for first responders and hospital staff who need to care for your child.
Pertinent Information to Make Accessible
Edward Guzman, director of Sierra Ambulance Service in Oakhurst, California, tells Parentology if a parent chooses to make information accessible via a car seat, valuable information for emergency personnel should include:
- The child’s name and date of birth
- Parents’ name and contact information
- Food and medicine allergies
- Significant medical conditions
- The name and contact information of a trusted relative or friend
“At the very least, we would want contact information for a responsible adult who would likely not be traveling in the same car,” Guzman says. That person should be someone familiar with your child’s history.
Medic Alert Bracelets and Vial of Life Options
Guzman recommends children with significant medical history wear a Medic Alert bracelet or a piece of jewelry containing vital information. Most parents are familiar with this, but there are other options available as well.
“The majority of documentation we rely on is usually placed on what they call ‘Vial of Life’ packets,” Robert Mara, field training supervisor at Aetna Ambulance Service in Hartford, Connecticut says.
The best place to keep these in a vehicle? Mara says most first responders head straight to glove compartments when searching for passenger information. Other common places would be center consoles, car visors, or kept inside purses and wallets. Cell phones often include vital information of a person to contact in the case of an emergency.
Mara tells Parentology that while he’s never encountered personal information attached to a car seat, any information first responders can get on scene is extremely helpful. “You would have to change the culture of the responders to look behind the car seat, which may take time, but [it] would be of value if successful.”
Car Seat Tips for Parents — Sources
Edward Guzman, director of Sierra Ambulance Service, Oakhurst, CA
Robert Mara, field training supervisor/Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc., Hartford, CT
Heart: Paramedic Explains Why Every Parent Should Pin a Note to Their Child’s Car Seat
Vial of Life