Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have Kids will travel... in ambulances?

If I've said it once around our house, I've likely said it two or three times.  Keep a bag packed for emergencies.    Today we made another visit to the ER.  Our sixth in the last two years.  Yep.. 6... all with our second son.  He's had allergic reactions (first ambulance ride) fallen in a hole and gotten hurt, caught the RSV virus which triggered bronchiolitis, and asthma attacks.  All of which were scary.  The first time it happened, I had a diaper bag packed.  I'd gotten into the habit of reloading it whenever we got home and thank goodness!   All I had to do was grab my purse and we were good to go.

I kept that up, but now my son is potty trained and today I realized that we aren't all that prepared.  At least not like before. I need to get a big Ziploc bag ready just in case.   Luckily he was at my parents today.  By the time I got there (rushed back from work) his asthma was getting the best of him and we called for an ambulance.  My Mom was a quick thinker and had packed snacks, juice, colouring book, little cars, wipes and more.  On my way home I'd run into a store to grab a drink and a snack knowing I might be away from home for a while, even if we only had to go to a clinic. 

I've been saying to myself that I need to keep his medical info with me.  Not just his carecard, but the type of meds he takes, our hospital/doctor visit history etc.  I can't remember it all, but writing it down would be a good plan.  So that will be on my to do list as it sure makes an ER visit go smoothly when you have it all at your fingertips. 

We got lucky today and a pediatric paramedic unit was driving through the area, so they were equipped with all the little people stuff.  This is something else you need to consider.  Get to know your hospitals.  Some are not well equipped for children. Trust me, being in one that has nothing child sized is an issue.  The staff aren't as good with them, the equipment doesn't work right and it's a tough time ahead.  They try their best, but they aren't set up for kids.  I now know where I will and will not go if given the choice.  If you have more than one local hospital find out which has a pediatric unit and, better yet, pediatric emergency beds. You'll be so glad you did.

All is well here now, but I'll be putting a little grab and go bag together.   In it we'll have:

  • each child's medical history including vaccines, illnesses, allergies, medications etc.
  • a small snack/juice box/ water (while they shouldn't eat/drink when you make the decision to go - it's nice to have it with you when you get the all clear from the doctor
  • colouring book/crayons/small toy/book ( a distraction is sometimes critical)
  • phone numbers - when you have another child elsewhere such a daycare, ensure you have those numbers so you can call the place and call for help from a family member or friend if possible.
  • change of clothes - or at least a clean shirt and maybe undies. Thin cotton outfits will fit in a little bag and are better than nothing.  Accidents happen when they are sick - they vomit, spill, etc.
  • a mini pack of wipes (see above)
  • If you are like us and have a grab/go medicine pack consider keeping both in the same place so you only have to get to one cupboard.
  • money - nothing like being caught away from home with nothing.  If you go by ambulance - how will you get home?  Can you pay a cab?.  You never know how long you'll be there and you might want a coffee, need to use a payphone or buy a snack if you run out.
That's all I can think of at the moment.  Do you have anything you'd add to the list?   What have you done to be prepared for an unexpected ER visit?

1 comment:

  1. This is a brilliant idea whether you have made numerous trips or none at all. It only takes a second for a fall from a bike to break an arm and send a household into a tizzy. The only thing I would add is a stash of feminine hygiene products in case you have that going on that day too.