Son Traveling with Grandparents

Updated on November 03, 2010
M.S. asks from Albany, CA
19 answers

This weekend my 3 year old son with be traveling with my parents to a different state to visit my little sister. It will about an 8 hour drive (each way) and they will be leaving Saturday morning and returning Monday evening. This is the first time my son will be traveling without us, and to top it off my husband, daughter and I will be traveling in the opposite direction for other commitments. I know he will have a great time, and I trust my parents completely... however I am still really nervous!

Should I type some paperwork to sign and have notarized giving my parents authorization for medical treatment if it is needed? Realistically, I understand that in an emergency the hospital would take whatever life-saving steps were needed - even if they could not reach my husband and I for consent. Anything else could probably wait until they could reach us... UGH! I also worry that because we are traveling, if we were involved in an accident we might not be able to consent if he need stitches, etc...

I am generally a nervous wreck, but this is new ground for me... What do you moms suggest? Any documentation? Is it worth the time? Am I absolutely crazy? :) Thanks for the help.

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answers from Seattle on

Yup. Absolutely a medical power of attorney (print, take to the bank sign & notarize) because even lifesaving surgery will be postponed to the very last moment if they can't reach you... but for the more likely non-life threatening stuff... you don't want your son sitting in the ER with a broken arm and no pain meds for hours because you can't be reached (seen that happen).

ALSO... phone your pediatrican's office and let them know that your parents will be caring for your child for x number of days and ask if there is a consent form of any kind that they would want you to sign.

Ditto, a handwritten note (with a photocopy of your drivers license and your phone numbers) authorizing your parents to be taking care of your child and traveling out of state with him has as little chance of being needed, but if for any reason there is an amber alert, or they're pulled over, or, or, or... cops want something that verifies that they are allowed to be traveling and caring for your child.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Definitely get a notarized Medical Power of Attorney that authorizes your parents to seek medical treatment for your son for the duration of your trip. Without it, unless it's a life or death emergency, your son will not be able to receive medical treatment, even tylenol, until you can be reached and some hospitals will not accept verbal consent over the phone. My pediatrician's office has one on their website, so I'd call them first thing in the morning. We left one with my mom when we left our then 3 month old with her for a weekend, just in case. Other than that, relax and try to enjoy your trip as I'm sure he'll enjoy his. Good luck!

Found this one online, but see if your pediatrician's office has a different one:

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

Second, isn't it wonderful that your parents are competent enough
and smart enough and loving enough to take DS on a trip without your help.
After reading about some of the nightmare grandparents on this list,
it's a joy to be reminded
that there still are some terrific grandparents out there.

So . . . YES. Absolutely.
You should give them a formal authorization regarding medical care.
Your doctor's office can provide a standard form for you to fill out.
In fact, it's probably a good idea to include the name and contact
information of DS's regular doctor along with a permission form.

In my opinion, it is 99.99999% probable that you and your husband
and DD will be fine, coming and going. But, just to cover all the bases,
you might want to have a discussion with your mom
about your wishes if they might need to be in charge of your son
for any length of time beyond this particular trip.

It seems to me like a very long trip for such a short visit.
Practically more time in the car than at the destination.
I can't help wondering if the trip to visit DS's aunt
could be another time, with a longer stay.

Remember to B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

yes sign a medial consent so they don't have to wait to get ahold of you. I did it with both of my kids if staying with family for an extended period I have never needed them but it is a piece of mind for them to have them. you never know. put your insurance info on it your name phone and address incase they cant speak unlikely that will happen but just be safe. his docs name any allergies he has and any meds he is on. this should cover everything. dont worry mom it will be ok just a precautionary measure I have given for 21 yrs and never needed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Smith on

I would and get it notarized. Good for thinking ahead. You might also want to talk to your Dr or local hospital, give them the situation and ask them exactly what it should say or copies of anything that might be needed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Yes, you need a notarized consent to treat letter for them to take. I actually had to use one when my daughter's friend was traveling with us and the hospital asked for it! Be sure to put your insurance information on it as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Being nervous is normal. Definitely type up a consent form for your parents. It really helps. Have it signed by both you and your husband and what you are ok with them consenting to. Have them keep a copy and you keep the original. What we did was make it for a year---then renew it after the year is up. Hope that helps and don't worry--- have a great time!~


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hello MS, I am the mother of 5 and have several Grandchildren. I always had a written medical care statement with our doctors name and number, all insurance information, and how we could be reached & that was in the days of pagers not cell phones.
I often take my grandchildren places and thier parents do the same with me and often will make sure I have thier medical card with me just in case needed. Your mother's heart will always be pulled becasue your child is not in your arms and eye sight. Call often and send pictures both ways on your cell phone. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I would definitely write up a permission, giving all the information you can regarding insurance, his regular Dr. dentist, etc. names, and full information on how you can be reached in an emergency. You could also include a photocopy of his immunization record with this. Another thing is you can put a recent photo of your child with the emergeny information. And be sure to specify who is responsible for him. Give both of your parents' names, address, and phone information. Even though they are with him, it may be helpful for any emergency personel to have those bits of information. Since you are also traveling, is there a third party contact that could be listed just in case you are out of a good communication area for a while? That way someone else could be responsible for getting in touch with you if needed.
Not all needs for him to see a Dr. would be life-threatening emergencies covered by the requirement for an emergency room to care for him, and yet they might be important. My motto is it's always better to be overprepared for such things than underprepared.


answers from Sacramento on

When we leave the kids with grandma for an entire weekend we do provide an authorization to treat a minor, just in case. There are many examples online and it wouldn't hurt for them to have it. Though you are correct, in an emergency, a hospital will not wait for authorization.



answers from San Francisco on

We use a hand written note stating permission to treat as well as all insurance info, doctor's/dentist's phone numbers, our cell phones, allergies, etc. No need to get it notarized. I do make sure that it has begining and ending dates like a fieldtrip permission slip.


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter (now 9) has been visiting family for up to 6wks in the summer in a different state for several years. I always send a typed letter that Hubby and I both sign authorizing our sisters and mothers to obtain "urgent and emergency care". We also include our contact info (cell/work numbers), insurance info (including Hubby's DOB and employer), that we would be financially responsible for anything not covered by insurance and her pediatrician's info. In four years, it was needed once when she scraped her chin open and needed to have it "glued". My mother took her to the ER and had no trouble getting her seen and treated. If you want to private message me, I'll email you a copy of the letter we use. I have not gotten it notarized.

Your son will be in good hands! :)



answers from San Francisco on

Absolutely send a notarized note giving them permission to consent to any necessary medical treatment. Include his insurance information as well (carrier, ID#, etc.) You're right, the hospital can administer life-saving treatment without your permission, but there may be an instance where the treatment isn't really life-saving, but he would be better off if he had it sooner rather than later. you don't want the doctors to have to wait for anything if your son needs treatment! And relax. I know this is stressful for you and you will worry the entire weekend and when you see him Monday evening all safe and healthy, you will wonder why you dampened your weekend worrying about him!



answers from San Francisco on

I have left my daughter w/ my parents a couple of times now. What I did was write a note naming my parents as having permission to authorize any medical treatment that may be needed during the dates she would be with them. I signed & dated & gave them a copy of my daughter's insurance card. So far we have not had to use it.

You aren't crazy... Just nervous... I understand about being nervous. This is a great opportunity for your son and your parents to strengthen their relationship & build some memories. Try to relax, especially around your son, if he senses you are worried about the trip he might start becoming nervous. You trust your parents... go with that, smile, take a deep breath, and have fun. You don't have a crystal ball so don't try to "what if" yourself. Trust me... you won't ever cover every single scenario.

The times I have left my daughter w/ parents (and they traveled together on one of those times), my parents have told me how much they enjoyed spending one-on-one time with her. She loved it too.

Take Care,



answers from Portland on

Absolutely create a medical release letter for the grandparents. I have always done so when my daughter visits for extended periods. This past summer they had to take her to the emergency room for a high fever and respiratory problems(ended up being a bad case of strep) and the ER would not treat her until they got a hold of me, even though I specified power of attorney to the grandparents. The ER did examine her and assess her condition before calling me though, which I appreciate. They asked for my consent to treat her and wanted to verify the insurance and pediatrician info. It may be because mine was a handwritten informal letter that stated the grandparents had permission to make medical decisions and the time period my daughter would be in their care, along with my contact info. I think that if I had taken the next step to notarize it they would have treated her without my consent. Also, give the grandparents copies of the birth certificate, insurance cards, and contact info for your child's pediatrician or clinic. So take the steps as Riley suggested below and you will feel much more at ease and you will be able to enjoy your travels much more:)



answers from Phoenix on

I watched my friend's son and they left a piece of paper with their insurance info and a note saying he was in our care, something like that. I did the same thing when I accompanied my husband on a trip and had my son stay with someone after school.

Relax, enjoy the trip, he will be in good hands, he will have fun, and yes he'll miss you but he'll appreciate you more when you get home. Don't worry too much or the grandparents may feel bad that you don't trust them. (No you're not crazy, just try to relax!)


answers from San Francisco on

I sympathize with your feeling anxious. I had the same thing happen when I let my son at 5 years old go to Disneyland with his dad. I got myself all wriled up. I actuall ended up fostering two 3 week old kittens to keep myself busy for a week but ended up keeping the kittens. lol . Yes send a note with consent for medical treatment and an ID necklace, dog tags work great you can make them at Petco for 5 bucks..
You are not crazy. I still dont like to have my little guy away from me for more than a night;( good luck



answers from Dallas on


I think getting paperwork/notarization involved is a bit much. Like you said, the hospital would do whatever it takes to keep your son healthy. Does your son have a medical condition that has you so worried? As long as you trust your parents, which you do, then you have nothing to worry about. I definately think you are worrying way too much, and if this is going to make you crazy all weekend, then maybe you shouldn't let your parents take him. It's okay for you to call the whole thing off, you know. Your parents will be very disappointed, but you are already working yourself into a complete tizzy, which isn't good for you. Either relax about it (because there is an extremely slight chance that something bad will happen to your son), or call it off b/c being a nervous wreck about this is definately not worth it.


answers from Redding on

as a teacher who travels all over the state with kids, I have had to draft more than my share of medical release forms. You should also make sure you include in the release form that your son may be returned to your parents. It my be different since they are family, but a hospital may hold the child and only release them to their parents. If it something relatively minor it would be a big headache having to wait for you and your husband to reach the hospital, especially with everyone traveling.

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