As a parent, you want to believe that you will always be ready and able to protect your child. There is no greater bond than that between a parent and child. Most parents would give their lives to save their child without even hesitating.
However, a time could come when you are rendered incapable of being able to take care of your child. For example in an accident or a house fire. In this case, the best way you can be sure to keep your child safe is to take some advanced precautions.
I could write a book about Autism and safety. In fact, I am thinking about doing just that. But for now, here are four simple things you can do immediately to help make sure your child is safe in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.
A Seat Belt Cover that identifies a child as having Autism
This tool notifies emergency responders that your child has Autism and they may not respond, or respond differently than other children to verbal instructions.
Depending on where you live, police officers and other first responders have little to no training on recognizing Autism and how to work with those individuals.
There have been countless examples of news stories where police have mistakenly identified teenagers with Autism as having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol and arresting them instead of helping them in emergency situations.
The good news is that law enforcement agencies are starting to provide more training for police officers to identify when a child has Autism and how to respond.
However, getting a seatbelt cover to identify your child as having Autism providing simple clear information to police officers that could be invaluable in the event of an emergency.
While I hope your family never experiences this, if you are ever rendered unconscious, or incapacitated due to a car accident, having a seatbelt cover to identify your child as having Autism will help responders assist him.
When interviewing an emergency responder and asking the number one thing parents of children with Autism could do to proactively help responders in the event of an emergency, EMT Chris F. suggested something to identify your child as Autistic is helpful in an emergency situation.
He says, “It is useful so first responders can identify the occupant’s needs and treat the patient accordingly.”
There are several options on Amazon, I find this one above to give the clearest instructions to police officers and other first responders.
While, I hope you never have to use it, this is something every family of a child with Autism should have.
A Medical Bracelet
A medical bracelet is another easy and common way to identify your child as having Autism.
Some parents feel worried about the social stigma around having Autism and do not want to identify their child as having Autism.
However, if your child is non-verbal and cannot provide basic information like his name and a parents name and phone numbers to a police officer, it is imperative that they are wearing something that would identify that information.
I have also researched this one called RoadID www.roadid.com that has some great options for medical and identification bracelets. For kids with sensory issues they have one that is stretchy silicone (so no buckle issues). They also offer access to an updateable and secure online emergency profile to which you can attach documents and add additional information. You can also add badges to it for things like Diabetes T1 or T2/ the puzzle piece symbols, etc.
A GPS tracking device
Every parent wants to believe that their child will be safe when they send them to school. However, the truth is, there are far too many stories about missing children with Autism from schools in the news.
In fact, today as I am writing this article, a four-year-old child is missing from school. Putting a GPS tracking device in their pockets could help in the event of a tragedy.
This is usually met with a lot of controversy. Parents often express discomfort having their child walk around with a tracking device.
It can also be a bit impractical. The truth is you would have to try to figure out a way to keep it on your child’s body without having them fuss with it. Putting it in a backpack wouldn’t work because it is unlikely in the event a child were to wander, they would have it with them.
However, most kids can learn to keep something in their pocket without touching it.
If you know your child wanders away, the benefit of this may significantly outweigh the inconvenience.
It is another one of those things, you hope you never have to use, but retrospectively, never want to wish you had.
After doing some research, I recommend this one due to its low price for monthly service.
Exterior Door Alarms
Children leaving the home during the night once they are able to open doors is a fear every parent has.
Get an alarm for your front door so you are alerted if your child were to leave.
It is critical that if you have a young child in your house that may leave the house at night that you put an alarm on your door, whether or not they have Autism.
You don’t need an elaborate home security system. For just a few dollars, you can get a simple motion detector alarm for each door in your home.
This way, if your child left the house when you were sleeping or even distracted by a phone call or doing dishes, they won’t get very far without you knowing it.
It’s truly a no-brainer and worth the peace of mind.
Everybody thinks an emergency won’t happen to them. However the truth is, anything can happen to anyone. Being prepared is the best way to keep your child safe. These simple easy things can truly save your child’s life in the event of an emergency.
It’s the classic case of better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.