Develop an Emergency Plan

It is always a good idea to think about what you would do in case of an emergency. Now that you are bringing your child home, it may be time to reconsider your emergency plans. When you are discussing your child's discharge plan with hospital staff, review any possible medical emergencies and develop an action plan. Your child's school nurse, teachers, day care provider, family members, and any one else who will be spending time with your child should have copies of the action plan. It is wise to regularly review emergency phone numbers and procedures with your family and any friends or caregivers who will be responsible for your child in your absence.

Before your child comes home, contact your local emergency medical service agency (ambulance, fire department, or rescue/fast squad) to discuss your child's condition and emergency plans. You may need to explain how to care for your child if your child depends on complicated medical equipment. It will be easier to communicate information about your child before an emergency than to try to explain everything during one. EMS personnel need to know about your child's:

A form called "Emergency Information for School and EMS" organizes information which school nurses and EMS personnel need in order to care for your child. The completed form can also be a valuable document for day care providers, baby-sitters, pediatricians, and even the local emergency department.

Know the telephone number to call in case of an emergency and post it on every phone in your house. Post the Emergency Information Form near the phone.