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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Child Safety: Keep Kids Safe With Emergency ID Cards

Original Article

 When disasters are concerned, things can go awry very quickly.  And in some cases, families can become separated.  When a family is separated from one another, providing pertinent information to medical personnel or first responders becomes more challenging due to heightened emotions from the stressful situation.

To deal with these unintended separations, disaster organizations have suggested that every family have personal information for each member of the family before a disaster occurs.  Having this information will help responders and medical personnel expedite the process more quickly, as well as help you get your loved one back safe and sound.
Emergency information cards can be an easy solution to this problem and can fit in wallets, backpacks for school, bug out bags, as well as make great additions to the important information section of emergency supplies.  These cards provide needed information that can aide rescue workers or first responders, and are ideal for all members of a household: children, the elderly, those with serious medical conditions, mentally disabled, and for those wanting an extra layer of preparedness for their loved ones.  They can even come in handy during child sleepovers, play dates and during vacations.

Information to Include:

  • Name
  • Thumb print (optional)
  • Emergency contact phone numbers
  • Blood type (be certain this is correct)
  • Allergies or medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Organ donor information
  • Birth year (leave month and date off for privacy concerns)
  • City and state of residence
  • Height and weight

Play It Safe

Protecting your personal information and your child’s personal informaiton is a must these days.  Therefore, when creating emergency id cards, provide the essential information only.  Never include any sensitive information or financial information, such as social security number, any account numbers, passwords, etc.  Keep your information safe with these tips:

  • Putting the card in a place that is not easily seen by strangers, such as a wallet or inside of a back pack keeps the card holder safe.
  • If a child is the card holder, only print the initial of their first name.  For example: J. Smith
  • No need to print the birth date of the child.  Just state was year they were born to give first responders an idea of how old he/she is.
  • During an actual emergency, if a child is too young to carry a card, the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children suggest writing only the necessary information (name, contact number and parents name) on the back of the child before the disaster occurs.

How To Make an Emergency ID Card

Emergency ID cards can be made in the convenience of your own home, made in cd form or printed to carry in a wallet or backpack.  This website, allows you to easily enter the information and add pictures to create an emergency id for free.  The site even has an area to create ids for your pets.  All you need to do is sign up to use their program.  I used this website to make id cards for my family.  I printed the card out and laminated them for durability.  I made 3 copies of the cards: 1 copy is for my personal records, 1 copy is for our bug out bags and the other copy is for my child.