Medical permissions for care givers

Nicholas_EFebruary 8, 2002

My mother watches our 1 year old son 2 days a week and sometimes one night. He recently bonked his head at home which necessitated a visit to the emergency room. My mom wants us to write up something saying that she can make medical decisions in our absence. Has anyone done something similar? What do we write, does it need to be notarized? We are thinking more of stitches and things like that. I am hesitant to grant her power of attorney, just seems too complicated. If she shows up at the emergency room stating she is the grandmother, will they treat him? I would think if the kid needs treatment they will give it to him. We will definitely provide her with his insurance card. Luckily she has the same last name.

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When kids go on field trips with our church, their parents have to sign a consent form stating that we have permission to make medical decisions in case of an emergency, just in case. I think if you wrote a letter for your mom to keep with her and *maybe* it should be notarized by a notary public, that would suffice :) (or possibly a phone call to you, the mother would be okay, too).

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 9:46AM
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A few years back my friend (more like a sister) went away, over seas, with her husband and left me with her two kids. She wrote a note giving me permision to make medical decisions in her absence. In the note she just wrote my name, her childrens name and that I had her permision to make any medical decisions during such and such dates. Well I thought that this was a good idea but probably unnecessary. I was wrong. The day after she left her son ran a high temperature and I needed to take him to the doctors. The doctor told me it was a good thing that I had the letter. The child ended up being fine the next day.

I am sure that in an emergency your son would be treated but it would probably put your mother to ease if she had a note. I would just sign a note stating that your mother had permision to make medical decisions if the provider could not reach you or your husband. In fact since my mother is the one who watches my son on the rare occasion my dh and I go out I think I will write a note for her.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 9:55AM
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If your mom's watching him during the day, you could inform your caregiver and keep a note in the chart. In the evening, the er might require something additional.

Some day care centers have medical treatment release forms. Maybe you could get ahold of one and copy it for your needs? I would imagine you could specify what she had the authority to do and not do, if that wouldn't make things sticky between you.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 11:14AM
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The form should include a location to fill in the name and phone number of her primary doctor. An ER usually asks for this info. Also any allergies, although in this case, a family member probably already knows.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 11:50AM
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We have a form that we fill out for the daycare. It just gives them permission to have emergency care.

We actually had to call 911 and have ds rushed to the hospital last week. (Big scare. DS is fine now.) The paramedics didn't question me until we were in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They provided the initial emergency care and made sure ds was stabil first. Then I had to sign paperwork. After we got to the hospital, I had to provide my insurance card and sign papers for x-rays and bloodwork on the spot. I'd definately make sure that there was something in writing so that someone else could sign the paperwork.

You might also call your pediatrician's office to see what they need. I know that I had to fill out something that says DH is also a responsible party.

DS has only spent the night alone with the grandparents one time. I wrote up a permission slip that gave my parents permission to take him to the doctor if need be and I sent along extra medical and prescription cards.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 12:08PM
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I do have experience with this. I have worked in an emergency room and doctors office's. We would not treat children unless the person who brought them had a note or we could get in touch with the parents. Of course if it is a life or death situation but even then the hospital does not like to operate without consent because of liability. Parents can sue the healthcare provider if they did not give consent. Especially in the doctors office, grandparents were not permitted to have the child looked at if they did not have a note for the chart. You do not have to give all your rights away just put in the note where you can be contacted if anything major happens and they will have to contact you. Even myself knowing this, did not and my mom took my baby to the doctor for shots and they would not give them to her. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 3:13PM
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JennLynn is correct. A hospital will not treat a child without parental consent unless it is a dire emergency. They aren't going to endanger the child's life, but they will make every effort to contact the parents before treatment of any sort.

We have a consent on our grandchildren that we have updated from time to time. It lists the doctors to be contacted in case of just about any condition, surgery, broken bones, plastic surgery, etc. It is signed by both parents.

Having worked in a hospital, I was well aware of the trouble that a hospital will go to before treating a child. I remember two cases in particular. One the parents were traveling "somewhere" in Europe, and the other was just out shopping somewhere. We found the ones in Europe quicker than the one that was merely wandering around from store to store. All the while, the child had to wait untreated in the ER.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 6:31PM
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I also gave my MIL a photocopy of our insurance card; it has come in handy w/ prescriptions, etc.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 4:19PM
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Oh, thanks for the reminder. My ped recommended giving my dd's caregiver a signed note in case of an emergency. I haven't done it to date, but am also wondering if anyone else has written one of these notes, and how to word it. Is there some kind of 'form' available on the net? I'll try searching, and will post back if I come across anything.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 2:05PM
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I found this at

Without parental permission, doctors will only treat children in life-threatening situations. To make sure your child receives emergency medical treatment when he's under a sitter's care, prepare a consent form that includes:
Your child's name
Date of birth
Insurance carrier and policy number
Doctors' names and phone numbers
Important medical history, including allergies and chronic conditions
The following statement: "Any licensed physician, dentist or hospital may give necessary emergency medical service to my child (YOUR CHILD'S NAME) at the request of the person bearing this consent form."
Your signature

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 2:11PM
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