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Could a Website Potentially Save Your Child’s Life?

Jaclyn Hughes

Technology is so amazing these days, and it’s great to see it being used for something wonderful every once in a while versus another social media app the world just doesn’t need. Imagine being the parent of a child in college that is currently living away at a dorm; and one day they are faced with a medical emergency. Would your child know their own medical history? Not surprisingly, most teenagers have reported they have no idea about their medical history.

Most between the ages of 12-25 are clueless as to what vaccinations they have been given as a child, or medications they ever developed reactions from, or even surgeries they may have had as a kid. I can honestly say none of my four sons have a mental list of vaccinations they have endured over the years, so to me this is a very cool way of making good health a priority.

Recently, the Palo Alto News completed a story based on the death of a teenage girl that was attending college and passed away from a case of meningitis. Emily Benatar passed away in the spring of 2012, and ever since her parents have done their due diligence to try to help others in honor of their daughter. They’ve created a website “ownyourownhealthinfo.com” that simplifies the process of obtaining electronic access to your health records.

Currently, patients can access their data by doing so through their physician’s website; but do beware that there are still thousands of doctors that do not have any online options as of yet. How do those patients get the same abilities if their doctor has no web services? Simple, they take a quick photo of their immunization records to at least get the ball rolling; this is a vital step if you do regular traveling overseas. Another great way to keep abreast with your health data is to create a Google document that stores all of your information. This may take some effort digging up anything you wish to list on the form, but it’s so well worth it should you ever need the form. You could list vaccinations, drug allergies, prior hospital stays, surgeries, current medications, blood type, pharmacy details, doctor/specialist names and numbers, and the list can go on forever. All of this info can be quickly revised by a physician should there ever be an emergency situation.

These are tiny steps in the big scheme of preventative measures, but lifesaving ones at that. While most parents are always worrying about their older kids off on their own, the same theory applies to adults that are alone as well. Perhaps you’re an empty nester and now live by yourself, a simple Google document on your smartphone could easily save you hours in a hospital room trying to convey all of your details to various nurses. Some parents with kids that have long medical records even make copies of the child’s health history and keep them available to hand out to babysitters, schools, and sports coaches. Check out Mrs. Benatar’s website and see for yourself how easy the steps are to get a better grip on your own medical information that you should have handy all the time.

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