I recently discovered a clever little product that offers peace of mind to parents of kids whom are young (and pre-verbal) and/or whom have special needs.
While I don’t spend much time contemplating disaster-type scenarios in the future, the fact is that once I had children, I was motivated to put in place some precautions in the event that I get run over by the proverbial bus. I’m talking about life insurance, a will… that kind of thing.
Once I had a special needs child, I noticed my general level of vigilance went up in everyday situations where I hadn’t been overly concerned before (eating, going to the shops, visiting the park, going on holidays, etc). There was a valid reason for this; our son frequently choked while swallowing, would wander off distracted at the shops, and had a habit of sprinting ahead on hiking trails, oblivious to the desperate calls of his Dad and I trying to catch him. He also has very impaired language and communication skills, especially with strangers.
One day as I listened to my husband teaching our eldest child to recite our phone number and address in case of an emergency, it crossed my mind that we needed to do something about preparing our son in case he got separated from us, or if we had an accident. While I don’t recommend dwelling on the what ifs of the future, and I’m an optimist by nature, it would be naive to assume that nothing will ever go wrong. We drive on busy highways most days, live in a bushfire prone area, and we have a child with special needs… all wise reasons for being prepared in case of emergency.
I came across the folks at Cheeky Echidna who have come up with a solution to this exact problem. An Australian business, they offer a range of emergency identification products. I opted for the Emergency Information wrap, which is essentially a neoprene strap that fastens with velcro, and holds an information card visible through a clear plastic pocket. (I’m not receiving any form of compensation for promoting their product. I just feel that they’ve come up with a fantastic, simple and affordable solution for special needs parents and parents of young children).
The card has space to write down your child’s details that are most relevant for first responders; things like medical conditions, blood type, allergies, emergency contacts… the very things that my son would be unable to communicate. I mostly use his wrap on his car seat (as pictured) but we’ve also attached it to the shoulder strap of his backpack when we’re out.
If you’re crafty, you could probably devise a home made version of this, but for the price I paid ($17.50 each, plus a few dollars in postage), I think it’s really good value.
What do you think? Have you come across any similar products that you’d like to share?