Emergency Preparedness for Your Child with Special Needs

Emergency prep is a hard topic to discuss because it involves thinking about worst-case-scenerios and having to make plans for each possible outcome. After taking the time and energy to create the plans, I have a peace of mind that should a situation arise, Ellie will be taken care of.

Meet our van, aka Ellie's Party Bus aka Ellie's Swagger Wagon.
It drives like a boat and is always filled with equipment, medical supplies,
water bottles, and a stash of chocolate for mom after tough appointments.

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Everywhere we go I am asked questions about the hot pink sticker on the side.

(click photo to be taken to the Esty shop where I purchased this sticker)

(click photo to be taken to the Esty shop where I purchased this sticker)

The sticker is from this Etsy shop and I customized it to suit our needs. If we were ever in an accident and first responders came to the scene, they would immediately notice the hot pink sticker which would alert them that there is a child in the vehicle, specifically a child with special/medical needs, who could be injured and require attention.

When you open the sliding door, you see a hot pink seatbelt cover. I purposefully color coordinated the sticker and seatbelt cover so it would draw the attention of any person who opened the door.

(click photo to be taken to the Esty shop where I purchased this seatbelt cover)

(click photo to be taken to the Esty shop where I purchased this seatbelt cover)

The seatbelt cover contains vital information that a paramedic would need to know immediately upon meeting Ellie.

Cerebral Palsy: If a paramedic saw Ellie not moving in the same way a typical child does, they might assume she has an injury, when in actuality she has spastic quad CP.

Epilepsy: If Ellie were to be having a seizure, a paramedic would need to know that she has a seizure disorder, and the seizure may not be the result of illness or injury.

Nonverbal: If a paramedic is asking Ellie questions, they would need to know that she is nonverbal and might not respond or react to their questioning.

Birth Date: All medications, especially emergency ones, are based on weight (and sometimes age), so a paramedic would need to know how old Ellie is to administer anything.

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Infront of the seat where Ellie sits is a Medical Binder with more information about her. I chose a bright colored binder to make it most visible. I placed the binder partially sticking out so it would be easily noticeable.

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This Medical Binder is by far the most important part of our Emergency Prep Plan. Should we be in an accident and I (Rebecca, Ellie's mom) am unconscious or unable to respond, Ellie and I would be taken to a nearest hospital. There is a lot of information about Ellie that is vital for Emergency Room doctor and staff to know. The Medical Binder includes basic information, emergency contact, vaccinations, surgeries, specialists, family history, and more. I also included instructions and contact information for who I deem as guardian and medical custodian should I not be able to make those decisions for Ellie. Ellie's binder includes her MRI report, latest EEG report, latest bloodwork results. What you add to your Medical Binder can be tailored for your child's needs.

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The Medical Binder is also extremely important if someone else besides me were driving Ellie or taking care of her. Ex: a family member, friend, babysitter, etc. If they had to take Ellie to an ER that isn't her home hospital, they could grab the binder and hand it to the ER doctor to look over.

To download the fillable WORD DOC of the Medical Binder template I created,
click the book icon and click "download a copy" from the dropdown menu.