Child Medical Consent

By Lisa BowlinJanuary 12, 2022

What Is a Child Medical Consent?

A child medical consent form is a document that allows another adult to make medical decisions for a minor when the parents are not present. The form is commonly used when a child is traveling away from their parents. It may also be used when the parents are going out of town. Children who have regular babysitters while their parents work may also have a child medical consent form on file at their childcare center or with their sitter's paperwork. In the event of an emergency medical situation, the adult named on the form can decide what kind of care the child should receive.

The child medical consent form will give information about the child, including their name, age, gender and address. The adult who is authorized to make medical decisions will also be identified. The parents will also be listed. The circumstances for the consent form and the active time period will also be part of the form. The child's health history may also be included in the document.

Why and Who Should Use a Child Medical Consent?

When a child is traveling alone or with another adult and not with the parents, a child medical consent form should be filled out. If something happens during the trip and the child needs to see a doctor or go to the hospital, their medical care won't be delayed while staff attempt to contact their parents for permission to treat.

Child medical consent forms should also be used for babysitters or childcare centers in charge of children while the parents work or are away for business or vacation. If an accident happens or the child needs to see a doctor right away, medical professionals don't have to wait around for consent from the parents to examine the child.

Advantages of Using a Child Medical Consent?

The child medical consent form can be quickly written up and signed before a trip or a child's enrollment in daycare. There's no need in investing hundreds of dollars to get a lawyer to write the form. Lawyers will review it for parents if requested. Here are the ways children and their parents benefit from this form:

  • No Delay in Care – A child medical consent form can help prevent delays in the child's medical care. The crucial minutes in getting immediate care in an emergency matter for the best outcomes.
  • Less Stress During Travel – Parents and caregivers don't have to worry about the child getting access to quick medical care and treatment with a child medical consent form prepared ahead of time.
  • Caregiver Taking Charge – The caregiver can be authorized to make medical decisions on the parents' behalf when caring for a child. This helps prevent miscommunication and other issues when a child is in daycare or on a trip with another adult.

When To Use a Child Medical Consent?

If the parents have a trip coming up and will be leaving their child with a caregiver, they must discuss what happens if the child needs medical care during their absence. This discussion must also happen if a child is about to go on a trip without the parents. The parents can document their wishes in a child medical consent form. They should talk about scenarios with the adult in charge of their child's care. Everyone should be in agreement about what to do if the child gets sick or has an emergency.

A child medical consent form may also be part of the enrollment paperwork for a daycare or camp program. The parents must review the form and sign the consent to allow the caregivers to take the child to the doctor or the hospital in case of an emergency situation. If the child gets sick, the authorized adult on the document must take the form to the medical center before the minor can receive care.

Related Resources

Children traveling abroad may have to encounter additional checks from border control and customs. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Patrol features a guide for crossing borders into other countries. Children will need a valid passport and a form allowing the child permission to travel if both parents aren't accompanying them.

For any type of foreign trip, a child will need their own passport. The U.S. State Department explains how to get a passport for a child under 16. Both parents need to fill out and sign the application. They must apply for a passport with their parents at a physical location, such as a post office. Children under 16 must reapply for a new passport every five years.

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