Have you given any thought to how emergency medical care providers or law enforcement officers know who to contact or what to do if you are in an accident? Some people wear wristbands that contain important health information, such as drug allergies or chronic conditions. If you’re a Parents Estate Planning Law Firm client, you carry (or should be carrying!) your Family Emergency ID Card, listing the contact information for short and long-term guardians you’ve chosen for your kids, as well as for our firm. Now, there’s another useful and free tool located in something many of us already carry every day—our cell phones.
The Health App
The iPhone, manufactured by Apple Inc., comes with a free Health app which allows users to track details of their health. From the Health Dashboard, a user can track daily steps, weight, and heart rate. Even nutrition and sleep patterns may be managed using the app. (Similar apps are available for purchase for Android phones.)
Setting aside all that fancy stuff, health apps are useful for ensuring medical personnel -such as emergency room staff and paramedics- have critical information for treatment and, should the unthinkable happen, law enforcement officers have contact information that can be critical in ensuring your kids never end up in the hands of strangers.
Users can create an “emergency card” that others can access directly from the lock screen. Even if a passcode is required to unlock the phone, the emergency card can be accessed simply by pressing the Emergency button on the lock screen. Users can choose the information that is displayed, and the information input into the emergency card is not shared with other apps.
How to Get Started- iPhone
Click the icon that looks like a white square containing a red heart, or search “Health” from your home screen or with Siri’s help. The Health App will open. Next, click the Asterisk icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen, and the Medical ID card will open. Click “Edit” in the upper right hand of the screen and input the information you want to be available from your “Lock” screen, such as the following:
● Birth date;
● Medical conditions;
● Medical notes;
● Allergies and reactions;
● Blood type;
● Organ donor information; and
● Height and weight;
Lastly be sure to include contact information for your medical emergency contacts, and just as important as all of the above information, contact information for your children’s legal short-term guardians, as well as a directive to call them in the “Notes” section.
With the Health app, or similar “In Case of Emergency” apps available for purchase for Android phones, you can arm your emergency health care providers with critical information, potentially saving your life. By ensuring contact information is stored, you can also rest easy knowing law enforcement will call the right people to care for your children, should the worst occur.
Of course, if you haven’t properly planned for legally appointed short and long-term guardians, it may not matter who’s name and number you put in your phone. As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I can further advise you on all your options and make things as easy as possible for your family during a Family Wealth Planning Session. If you would like to have a talk about our Kids Protection Plan®, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and chat.
To your family’s health, wealth and happiness!
P.S. Want to get started on the most important planning you’ll ever do for your family? Give our office a call at (978) 263-6900 to get started. You’ll be so glad you did.
David Feakes is the owner of The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC – a law firm for families in the Acton, Massachusetts area. David helps parents protect the people they love the most. If you would like to receive David’s exclusive, free report, “Six Major Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney,” you can get it right here.