Many families have safety deposit boxes, fireproof safes, or lockboxes for their financial files or other valuables. Yet, one of the most important "collections" your family may have is that of medical records for each family member. Even if you and the rest of your family are relatively healthy and have few records, it's important to keep these together and have them available to give to a physician in the event of an emergency.
Create a file, packet or box (depending on how much room you need), and keep it in an accessible place. This "Family Medical Emergency Kit" should be:
- Stored in a place that's easy to get to by everyone in the family. Is there a place by the door? A coat closet? A desk drawer? Remember to keep the kit low enough for a child to reach.
- Of a color that is distinguishable from other documents and folders.
- Kept uncluttered and separate from your "medical receipts" information. (See recommendations and samples below.)
- Made of durable packaging (nothing that will tear easily or fade, or get soaked)
- Labeled "Medical Emergencies: YOUR FAMILY NAME." If you have several family members, make sure each has their own folder, but keep them together and take them all with you in the event of an emergency, just in case.
- Updated regularly. Make quick notes when you come home from your doctor's office. (See recommendations and samples below.)
This doesn't have to be a chore. Get your family members to help assemble the kit. Once it's created, updates can be made easily.