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what do you do with your mindees if one of them suddenly needs an ambulance?(45 Posts)
Sorry, this is a bit long, but I hope somebody can help me because this issue is really bothering me (and I have had the odd sleepness night because of it).
I am partway through training/registering as a childminder, and have got to the stage of thinking about what would happen if one of the children in my care needed to go to hospital very urgently. What would I do??? Would I send the sick child in the ambulance on their own and stay with the other mindees (this would be completely terrifying for the sick child and probably not even legal) or would I go in the ambulance with them and try to get somebody else to care for the other children, call all the parents and stay until their parents were able to collect them?
I feel that I should have a procedure in place to deal with this kind of situation. My own little son has serious multiple food allergies (for example, he reacts on skin contact to foods with even traces of dairy or nuts in them) and has had to go in an ambulance twice so far. Obviously, I plan to minimise the risk of him going into anaphylactic shock!!! and one of the ways I already do this is by excluding all of his allergens from my home (when childminding, I will provide all meals/snacks and make all the birthday treats etc.) However, there will always be a small risk of him having a serious reaction - and, of course, any of the other children in my care might also need to go in an ambulance at short notice, for all sorts of unimaginable reasons...
Does anyone have any ideas? I have a few crazy ones floating about in my head... for example, if we are at home, I could pre-arrange for staff from a local shop to rush in and take care of the children/call their parents. If we were out and about, would the police send someone? (on the principle that there were children alone and at risk) - the police would be quick, and I could prepare a pack with contact details etc. that I carried with me at all times...
I suppose I am particularly aware of this problem because I have once seen my son go into anaphylactic shock, and I know that keeping the ambulance hanging around waiting for parents to collect children is not a possibility.
Thank you for reading all this. I'll be so grateful if any of you experienced people out there can help me.
Gosh and I thought I was a worrier! But, you're right you probably have a plan.
No idea what the "right" answer is, but I think probably ill child goes in ambulance with lovely caring paramedics and you arrange for parents to be there ASAP.
I feel you either all go in the ambulance, which probably isn't going to be possible if there are many of you.
Alternatively, you hand the child over to the medics. They are then responsible for the child. You then make your own way to the hospital with minded children coming with you - "fun outing to A&E" - and await the arrival of the child's parents. Once child's parents arrive, you hand over to them, return home with minded children and write up the accident report.
No idea what the right answer is
but i dont think its right to leave any young children, injured or not....
Id go with taking them ALL in the ambulence.... knowing that most hospitals have a playroom, and making do with the books / toys in there to entertain them.
Clearly id call the injured childs parents asap and get them to the hospital ASAP, but if for whatever reason they couldnt be there for a while id be calling the other childrens parents as well, to collect their DC from the hospital.
It would only happen in a really disastrous emergancy and id hope all parents would co-operate where possible
create and nannynick, thank you both for that. It's kind of what I guessed... I suppose that because I have seen my own very young child in this situation, I am desperate to avoid a child having to go in the amulance on their own - but the chances are extremely slim and this might be a risk I have to take.
Again, thank you.
um having been in an ambulance before but not being a cm i wd just add that depending on the reason you may not be allowed to travel in the ambulance - sometimes you are asked to follow behind.
nannyl, I agree - I would much rather take them ALL with me. However, having been inside an ambulance before, I know they are not equipped to take 4 children...
I'm sure all parents would co-operate (and given my son's allergies, I will be making sure that all parents understand the risks before they agree to leave their children with me - all the parents I have met so far have been wonderfully understanding).
sharbie, yes, I would love to be able to follow behind, but I don't drive
(although I will be learning to drive as fast as I can)
Not the same as I am only a mum and not a CM but I had a situation with my daughter. DS1 was 4, DD was 22 months and DS2 was 3 weeks old. DD had an accident and a neighbour called an ambulance. I phoned PIL who were out and at least 40 minutes away. DH was at work and 1 1/4 hours away. I rang every neighbour I knew. I had I, J and P come to the house and stay with DS1 and 2 and then I took the boys to hers with expressed breast milk. PIL turned up and took ds1 while dh arrived in 40 minutes and brought ds2 to the hospital. PIL stayed at ours with DS1 until I got home. I don't know if that helps but I wanted to show it can be done though I know it is different when the children aren't yours but then in an emergency you have to do what you can, neighbours will help and the parents will hopefully accept you did the best you could in difficult circumstances.
I suggest you talk it over with the parents from the point of view that your son needs 999 help and if their child does.
As you don't drive, I'm not sure you have many options open to you. The chance that the ambulance crew would be willing to transport you all is probably quite slim.
Do you have any childminder friends locally who could provide emergency care for some/all of the children. Can't recall what the rules are about having the children cared for in an emergency by someone else, or about a childminder over-minding in an emergency. However I would suspect that something is permitted in such a situation - especially if you arrange for the children's parents to collect them ASAP.
TheOriginalFAB, bless you, that sounds like a very difficult situation. Glad it worked out okay for you. I know that in an emergency situation we would all cope somehow, and thank you for that reassuring post. The thing is, because I will be willingly taking responsibility for other people's children, I want to make sure that I have procedures in place for coping.
Nannynick, thank you, that's really helpful. I asked on my course today what the 'rules' are and, in a genuine emergency, the people who rush in to take over do not have to be CRB checked / registered etc. (I was thinking of a local shop because I know the staff there and would trust them completely).
I'll do a bit of networking re. local childminders, but my concern is that they wouldn't be there quickly enough to take charge before the ambulance had to leave (I have seen how quickly anaphylactic shock works - you have between 5 and 30 minutes before death ).
I accept that a child who was seriously ill might have to go in the ambulance on their own (the thought that this might be my son makes me very sad, and I'm sure all other parents would feel the same!!!) and I will be learning to drive as quickly as I can...
I have another childminder as an emergency back up whose details have been given to the parents.
I also have a policy which says that in life or death situations I could go in the ambulance and the other children could be left with an unregistered person until collected by the parents.
I'm in Wales and we have to have an emergency policy to cover these circumstances.
Get to know the neighbours - invite them over for coffee/tea. The more people you have close by who know you (and also the children if possible) the better.
You son may well need to go to hospital on his own... it is sad but it's a life or death situation so there isn't a choice.
I think learning to drive and getting a big car is what you will need to do to help give you the option of taking the other children with you to hospital - not ideal but at least they are with someone they know. Though keep in mind that you may not be in a fit state to drive if you are very anxious about your son's condition. So getting a neighbour to sit with the children at your home may be an option to explore.
I've thought about the neighbours - my two immediate next door neighbours are not much good, as one is elderly and disabled with no children of her own and the other speaks no English at all. Also, I worry about the logistics of scavenging around for neighbours to help because I know from experience that once you dial 999 you have to stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives, which leaves little leeway for contacting other people.
It looks like my best option is resigning myself to the child-alone-in-ambulance situation and learning to drive as quickly as possible so that I can follow the ambulance
The idea of my son going alone in the ambulance is horrible and I know that any other parent would feel just the same [same]
Just to add, my 3 week old wasn't allowed to come with me. I had no choice but to leave him as they wouldn't let me take him.
I've also thought about setting up a text group to various (pre-warned) friends and neighbours which says "I've called an ambulance, get here as quickly as you can" - some friends have already said they would happy to do this but it seems a bit hit-and-miss to me and there is no guarantee they would arrive beforethe ambulance had to leave - what do you think?
TheOriginalFAB - they made you leave a 3 week baby behind???
TheOriginalFAB, that's terrible! A 3 week old baby doesn't take up much space in an ambulance! I thought that, at such a young age, mother and baby were kind of seen as one entity...
cat64, I totally agree about near neighbours. There are sone lovely people close by that could help (including some 'grandparent' aged near neighbours), but I worry about contacting them all in time, adn what would happen if they were unluckily all out ... perhaps I could agree with them all in advance that they should be on a text-message group... and if none of them arrived in time, the sick child would still have to go in the ambulance on their own. Gah. Perhaps I will just haveto put all these things in my procedure??
I've been in that situation (playdate not CM) and didn't cope as well as I'd like (although it all ended happily) so I'd agree that it's worth having a plan. You do have to stay on the landline phone to the ambulance, but that doesn't necessarily stop you talking to other people on your mobile at the same time.
I have a back up CM who lives half a mile away and I am hers. I have produced an 'emergency pack' with all childs contact phone numbers and for confidentiality she doesn't hold them but know where to find them.
I also carry a card in my purse advising people to contact her or my husband would in case it is me that needs the ambulance and/or i cannot speak for myself and the children.
She is to call and advise that the children are needed to be collected immediately inc calling my husband from work for my DD if necessary and i would go with the sick child in the ambulance.
On our first aid course we were told the ambulance will NOT take the other children. You can leave them with a trusted unregistered adult, who can use your emergency list to phone their parents. Definitely get to know your neighbours and maybe have another local CM, who can make their way to your house to help the neighbour with the children and contacting the parents.
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