Child Medical Consent Basics

There may come a time when you’re called away from
home—perhaps for work or a family emergency—and you must entrust your child to
a guardian in your absence.

In an event like this, it’s likely you’ll tell the guardian about your child’s medical history and of any precautions they’ll have to take or procedures they’ll have to follow if the child gets sick or injured.

Of course, parents are hardwired with the desire to protect
their children and can sometimes feel uneasy when surrendering their care to
someone else. So, how can you confidently prepare a guardian to manage your
child’s health and well-being when you’re away?

In this post, learn about the importance of a Child Medical
Consent form and the possible outcomes of a situation without one.  

When Should You Use a Child Medical Consent Form?

You should use a Child Medical Consent form when you know you’ll be away from your child for an extended period of time. This could include time you spend away on a business trip, vacation, or caring for a sick family member or time your child spends traveling for a sports tournament, a school field trip, or away at summer camp.

If you’re going to be separated for a full day or more, it’s
recommended you send a Child Medical Consent form to your child care provider
so they are prepared for an emergency medical situation. With this form, your
child care provider will be updated on all of your child’s medical information,

  • The child’s medical history (including health insurance information, medications, allergies, or illnesses)
  • The family doctor’s contact information
  • Any medical treatments that the child care provider is allowed to consent to (e.g. transportation by ambulance during a medical emergency)

A Child Medical Consent is especially important for children
who have pre-existing medical conditions. For example, there are some illnesses
(like anemia, kidney disease, or severe infections) that hinder a person’s
ability to create healthy blood. As a result, this person might require blood
transfusions at some point or on a regular basis.

If your child has a condition that may require special
medical treatment, it’s imperative you grant your child care provider the power
to authorize such treatment in your absence.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Child Medical Consent?

In many situations, a health care provider cannot provide
medical treatment to a child without the informed consent of a parent or
guardian. The exception is with medical emergencies, in which an emergency
responder will decide if treatment is necessary to prevent death or serious
injury. In this situation, it’s assumed that any reasonable person would also
consent to the treatment.

However, when it comes to non-emergency situations, consent
is generally considered to be an ongoing process. So, a person needs to be
fully aware of the procedures and consequences of a treatment before they
consent to it and they can withdraw that consent at any time if they choose.
That being said, a Child Medical Consent form can be used to inform a health
practitioner whether consent is or is not

For instance, there may be a child diagnosed with Attention
Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) who regularly attends behavior therapy and
takes prescribed medication. The child’s parents are going away for a week and
want the child to continue with his ADHD treatment, but they do not want the
child to take any different or new medications while they’re away.

With a Child Medical Consent form, the parents may give a temporary
guardian instruction on how to administer the child’s medication and permission
to bring the child to and from therapy (some establishments do not allow anyone
but the child’s legal guardian to take the child home, so in this case written
permission is necessary). However, the parents can add a clause to the form
that states the guardian is not allowed to pick up new prescriptions or
administer any other medications for the child’s ADHD in their absence.

Without a Child Medical Consent, your child may temporarily be
denied much needed medical treatments or possibly given a treatment that you
don’t agree with.

Conversations to Have with Your Child Care Provider

There are a few questions you may want to ask a potential guardian to ensure they are capable of caring for your child in your absence.

First, you’ll want to know if the person is of legal age to
provide consent (in many places, they’ll have to be at least 18 years old). It
will also help to know whether or not the person shares your moral beliefs and
is genuinely invested in your child’s well-being; this way, you’ll know you can
trust this person to make medical decisions for your child that respect your

Once you’ve chosen a temporary guardian, you should explain
the extent of powers granted in the Child Medical Consent. Tell the guardian
exactly what’s expected of them (any treatments that must be administered) and
for how long (the date on which their authority ends).

Going through this information with your child care provider
gives them the opportunity to ask questions they might not have thought to ask.
It can also prepare them to act swiftly and confidently should medical
attention be required.

A Child Medical Consent benefits both the absent parents and
the temporary caregiver: parents can relax knowing their child is being
properly cared for, and caregivers have the information they need to deal with
any medical issues that might arise.

Uphold Your Health Care Standards with a Child Medical Consent

A Child Medical Consent form is an excellent way to
guarantee your child’s health will be properly cared for in your absence. It can
advise a temporary guardian not only of any illnesses, allergies, or medical
conditions your child might have, but also of any medical treatments your child
may need to be healthy. Without a medical consent, your child might not have
access to the health care they need or they might be given a treatment that
goes against your wishes. 

Parents work hard to ensure their kids grow up safe and strong,
whether it be something as simple as making sure their hands are washed or
something more complicated like finding the right medication to treat an
illness. Having a Child Medical Consent can reassure parents who have to be
separated from their children that their hard work will be respected and
carried on by another responsible adult.

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