Does your family have emergency ID cards in your emergency bags or in school backpacks?
In the event of an emergency when you are not readily available to your child, do they have anything that they carry that lets rescue workers know anything about them at all? Sure, the child who has a medical condition which may effect her treatment should be wearing a medical alert in the form of a bracelet or necklace, but what about other identifying information such as your contact info, their physical attributes to be sure that the information really does belong to them? Or what about a card that you have to hand to a rescue working when looking for your child during an emergency?
I’ve talked before about including photos in your emergency bags, but we’re going to take it once step further today.
How Can You Use an Emergency ID Card?
Consider this scenario:
There was a tornado in your city and your child is at a rescue site, hanging on only to his backpack. He’s uncommunicative. His teacher is with other kids who also need help. But, your son still has his backpack. The rescuers dig through and find the printed, laminated emergency ID card that you’ve put into his emergency supplies that he carries all the time. With it, they can make sure that he is the child who belongs to the information on the card not only by the description, but by the photo. They can see his allergies and know that he is allergic to penicillin and that his blood type is A+, and that he has no other know medical complications.
They can be one step closer to treating him on the spot, effectively, because they have that information. They also have your contact information so that you can be called quickly.
What about this one?
You are at a local amusement park and are separated from your young child. Even though you know that you’ve taught them to find the nearest park employee and wait, you still have to be proactive in getting help. Instead of trying to describe your child, or showing them a photo on your cellphone that you only have, what if you had one or two of these cards in your day bag that you could hand to attendants to have more looking out for your child?
None of the above scenarios are meant to spook you, I promise, but to make you think about how they can be helpful, especially with younger children who don’t have a lot of vocabulary to share full information. Not only are they good for emergencies like this, but they’re good information to have in your Family Emergency Binder as well! We keep a copy of an ID card for each member of our family in our emergency car kit and in our emergency bags.
How to Create Your Own Emergency ID Cards for Your Family
- With the .pdf version, just print off the form. If you happen to have some white cardstock, just insert it into your paper try on your printer and print.
- Cut out cards. You can glue the paper onto a 4×6 index card for added stability if you’d like if you haven’t printed it out on cardstock.
- Attach a photo of your child in the box. The best photo is one with a great headshot. Use a good glue.
- Press your child’s thumb into a rubber stamp ink pad , then press firmly in the corresponding thumbprint box.
- Fill out the pertinent information. While I did include a Social Security area, you don’t have to include that if you are worried about the card being lost.
- Additionally, flip the card onto the front and glue a photo of your entire family and/or add other pertinent information about your child.
- You can take the finished cards to your local print shop or teacher’s supply store and have them laminated. Or, if you have a laminating machine at home, do it yourself! You can even ‘vacuum seal’ them into a vacuum sealer pouch if you have a Food Saver, though they won’t be as easy to see or read because of the texture. You can even just put them into a freezer zip top bag and remove all the air.
- Once completed, you can punch a hole and put on a keyring for your family’s emergency bags, put into a binder for your Family Emergency Binder, or their own card into their backpacks and school emergency kits.
If you are handy with a photo editing program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, give this a try:
You can download this .png Emergency ID Card to pull into your program, fill in with your favorite font and insert your own photo into the appropriate areas. Just print off and then stamp the fingerprints, then proceed to adding the photo to the back and laminated if you’d like. Or, you could actually add a photo of your child and a photo of the family, though they will be smaller in size to do so.
Extra: Misti @ Your Own Home Store has created a full Emergency Information Sheet that you can print out, plus emergency cards for your pets.
I understand how some of you may feel like this is information that you don’t want readily available for someone to take. That’s a decision you have to make for yourself. We choose to have it because we feel it is an important part of being PREPared for an emergency.
Note: Please don’t share the link to the printables, but direct your friends and family here so that they can learn and download for themselves. Thanks!
What else do you do to help provide vital information for your child when you’re not available?
Want more ideas for preparedness for kids?
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