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When you are not there

This week I was given a unique opportunity. I am speaking in front of my colleagues at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. It is a 40,000 member-strong organization that has two  semi-annual meetings. This year, the Midyear meeting is being held in New Orleans, LA.  This is a great location and my husband and I chose to take the trip alone, leaving our 2.5 year old at home with Grandma and Pop-Pop.

This is not the first time he has stayed behind and we did not anticipate any problems.  However, we also are cautious, so we always leave a consent to treat form along with a copy of his birth certificate and his insurance card. All I can say, is thank goodness we did.  My mother-in-law called Sunday afternoon and he was running a fever , had some nausea and vomiting, but nothing too worrisome. He was still eating and drinking some.  I suggested the normal things, liquid Tylenol and keep him drinking fluids.  Yesterday afternoon, Monday, she called again, except now he had had only one diaper in about 18 hours and temperature continued to go up.  Now I was worried and we made the decision, mostly because of his hydration status, to take him to the ER. This may have been a bit aggressive, but I’m 1000 miles away and if he needed IV fluids, I didn’t want him to have to go to an urgent care and end up at the ER anyways.   Thankfully, he was able to get some oral anti-nausea meds, drank some apple juice and enjoyed a popsicle with the nurse, and was home again in a couple hours.   Again, thank goodness we left the consent to treat form.  There was no trouble at the ER and I knew that my wishes would be done whatever the need.

If you are traveling and leaving your children in the care of others, here are some other tips:

  1. If there is any significant medical history, also keep a medical history form with the consent to treat.
  2. Consider leaving a copy of your child’s normal schedule, including typical nap times if applicable.
  3. Make sure you leave a copy of the hotel information as well as any emergency numbers that may be available. For example, sometimes conferences have emergency numbers to contact participants.
  4. If the caregiver is coming to your house and your child is in sports or school, consider printing off directions and maps to ensure they don’t have any trouble finding the locations
  5. If your school or day care require it, don’t forget to add their names to the pick-up cards
What else do you do when you leave your child for an extended trip?  Comment below and share your knowledge!

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