Saturday, April 14, 2012


E's fall on Monday brought a major parenting fail to our attention: lack of proper medical authorization for our nanny.  I know that I had filled out a protocol for the nanny with our contract, and I was pretty sure I had filled out an authorization, but that was two years ago.  Since Paul's insurance changes each year, we should have been on top of that.

Not only did our nanny not have medical authorization, she did not have my phone number at work.  That was a major parenting fail.  Had she had my number, she could have had the school secretary come get me out of class.

As it was, nothing fatal happened, Paul dealt with the issue, and I had a stress-free first day of work.  We did learn a lot, and have created a medical authorization and protocol file for our nanny.  We made a copy to keep at home, just in case someone else watches the children.

Here is what we have in it:
  • Medical Authorization Form - There are quite a few on the internet, and a simple Google search will bring them all up.  We chose this one.  We wrote down our cell phones, desk phones and main office phones so that we can be contacted wherever we are in the building.  We liked the fact that there is a space to put an action in the event the physician cannot be reached, and wrote down the names of the immediate care facility and emergency room we prefer.  We also wrote down the addresses and phone numbers of those facilities on the back of the form.
  • Insurance Card - We photocopied the front and back of our insurance card so whomever has the kids can get that information to the medical team.  There is also a space on the authorization form for that information, but every time you go to a new medical facility, they want to make a copy of your insurance card.
  • Google Maps - One for the location of our physician; One for the location of the Immediate Care; One for the location of the hospital.  We made sure the phone number for the facility is on the map
  • When to Take Your Child to the ER - In doing our research on medical authorizations, I found this little nugget on the hospital's website.  I printed this out because it's just really good information to have.  
It's very important to review the information on a yearly basis at the very minimum.  If your company is anything like my husband's, medical insurance changes every year because the company finds a better deal with rates.  It should also be reviewed when you change jobs, have another child, or something happens with an emergency contact (like they move or change their number).

If you have someone new watch your child, definitely go over the information with them.  Chances are high that nothing will happen (we've had our nanny for over two years and this is the first time we've needed any protocol), but you don't want to learn the hard way, like we did.  Even if your child goes to center-based care, or a relative watches him or her, you should have one at your house and at your relative's house.

I'm relieved that what happened with E was minor in the grand scheme of things.  I am hopeful that nothing more serious ever happens, and I hope that the things we learned from this experience will help you be better prepared should something like this, or (God forbid) something worse happen to you.

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