Authorizing Medical Care for Son Staying with Relatives

Updated on July 05, 2011
J.T. asks from Mansfield, TX
12 answers

Next weekend, my husband and I will be going out of state and will be leaving my 4-year-old son with my father and his girlfriend. If my son were to get hurt or sick and need medical care while we are gone, what type of authorization letter (or whatever) do I need to leave with my father? I don't want there to be any "red tape" for him to have to go through when my son is needing medical attention.

Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the responses! I have composed a letter and will be having it notartized today. I so much appreciate having you ladies to turn to with my questions!!

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answers from Atlanta on

I just did this on Wednesday, since my son is staying with his grandparents in NY, and I'm in GA. I wrote a letter, and had it notarized at the town hall. There is no charge for the service of a notary public. Good for you for taking care of this - so many people don't even think about doing this! Best of luck!

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answers from Hartford on

Make sure they have your son's insurance card and any pertinent medical information like allergies, recent illnesses, any medications he's on. Make sure they have his pediatrician's contact information and address. Tell your father exactly under what circumstances you want to be called immediately and what circumstances can wait until the situation is over for you to be called. You need to be explicit here. If your son breaks a bone, do you want to know right away? Or can that wait until your son is back home safely? Or can it wait until you're home to be told? Can they wait to call you on what turn out to be minor incidents? How long can they wait? What would you consider minor? No blood? Non-head injuries? Not stuck down a well? Those are things you need to consider.

Download this consent card and give it to your father before you leave. Doctors would provide lifesaving treatment with or without you being there and look to your father as being the available next of kin, but this is a good form to use.

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answers from Tucson on

just write a letter stating that they have permission to get him treated. you can get it notarized but most of the time you dont need to.

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answers from Denver on

I would call the ER and ask what the requirement are
for your state. My in-laws just had to take my nephew in to the ER while his parents were out of the country and they needed a power of attorney (which they had).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi J.-

How smart of you to think of this!

For my 'significant other', since I was caring for him thru chemo/radiation and subsequent surgery...we drafted a 'medical power of attorney' and had it notarized in BOTH va...and md...(and maybe DC?) as that was where he was receiving treatment. It was for a specific period of time .

**thinking we may need to re address this***

I would recommend contacting THEIR local hospital to make sure that that is all they need...

Good on you for thinking ahead!!

Best Luck!

**My bank was able to notarize it for free***

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

In California, you simply write a letter.

I, _________________ am the mother of _________________, date of birth________________.
I hereby give permission for _______________ and/or_________________
to seek and obtain medical care and authorize treatment for my child in the event of my absense during the dates of _________________________.

Printed Nane
Phone numbers

Medical Insurance #__________
Regular Family Physician___________
Other emergency contact information:_______________________
Any health issues or allergies:______________________

I used to put my social security number on the letter, but the hospital and doctors my kids would be taken to already had that info in the computer.

Letters here are not required to be notarized.
Some pediatrician offices even have forms, but I always just handwrote my letters. There was never a problem.

Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I googled, medical authorization form or medical consent form. I filled it out and had it notorized at a bank for free. Then I gave my parents the form and our kids insurance cards. I didn't put an end date just in case something were to happen and we didn't get back by that date. We were going overseas and with everything going on the world...


answers from Dover on

When I was 17 and had to go to the ER (and it wasn't overly serious), I had trouble reaching my parents (it was before everyone had cell phones). They said that my grandparents could also give verbal authorization while they started treating me and continued to try to reach my parents. But that was almost 22 years ago and in DE not TX.

I would say to write an authorization letter stating that your son will be in your father's care (and include both your son's and father's names) and that you are authorizing him to have your son treated in the event of any medical emergency. Also include how they can reach you as well. Both you and your husband should sign it and have it notarized. Leave a copy w/ your father and keep a copy w/ you (in case something happens and you need to fax a copy to the treatment facility).

You could also leave a copy w/ your son's doctor so they have it in your son's file.

To be sure it is acceptable ahead of time, contact your local hospital and ask them if that would be acceptable.



answers from Oklahoma City on

We ran across this once when I was nanny. She is a Masters Degree level professor of nursing at a local college. Every doc and nurse in town know her and her kids.

She called the pediatrician and the local hospital. They both said they would not accept a letter that was brought in no matter if they knew both parties. Too many people are computer smart and can make forgeries. They required a consent form to be signed in their offices. She went in to the pediatrician's office, filled out their form, showed her drivers license, signed it, the office manager signed it, was allowed and had an expiration date on it.

The hospital had a similar form. They had her show her license, fill it out and sign it, and then had it notarized by their staff. That way they knew the paper was legitimate. They put a note on the kids names where if their names came up they would see the flag and the copy of the paper was shown. One of my friends girls stepped on a tile brick around our trees/flower beds and sliced their foot open. Because of the forms we filled out in advance at the hospital they only had to put her name in and I was cleared to sign requesting treatment.

Even in child care or school field trips, if a child is hurt and requires emergency treatment the ER calls a judge to sign off, even with a form. It can take time too so don't think just because you have a sheet of paper it solves everything.

There is a type of limited guardianship too. It allows only certain things, such a seeking medical treatment. The law is only a few years old and not known well. It is a court paper and they are never disputed. It can have an expiration date on it too. It is a step above the paper saying they have permission to treat. It is not that specific and can come in handy when the unknown may happen.



answers from Baton Rouge on

What I used to do in that situation was to leave my daughter's insurance card (my insurance company provided a copy for each family member) and a notarized letter authorizing the sitter to consent to medical care if needed.



answers from Amarillo on

Do a medical power of attorney or child care form. I did one and used the template that was in Windows 7 for my grandson. All you need then is a notary public. My son made copies of his medical coverage and the notarized form and medical coverage are in a bag together.

Enjoy your trip.

The other S.



answers from Dallas on

I usually write a letter stating the names of those that may make medical decisions, it says that I am out of town and gives an emergency contact number to reach me, says the people that can make the decisions until I can be reached, includes a copy of our insurance card and SSN of my husband (insurance is through him) and my children. I tried to have this last letter notorized, just in case, but ran out of time. There is also a form on file with my peditrician that says who is able to bring my child in for a visit that they have permission to make medical decisions. We've never had to use it, but I feel better knowing its there.