Preparing for the ER. I get it, I sound whack.
How can you prepare for an emergency? Hence the name, emergency, urgent... but here is the thing, just hear me out. You might read this blog post and add something to your First Aid Kit. Or, maybe you read this and take a subconscious mental note that will help you in the future.
Here are a few things we did, or wish we had done, prior to our awful night and first experience in the the ER with our 1 year old:
Bring a book, or books from their normal routine
I wish we had a book to distract her when she was in a good headspace between vomiting. She LOVES books and I think she would have really enjoyed having a few of her favourites there. If your kid is proficient with the Ipad, bring it. It's always better to be over prepared than underprepared, especially when you don't know how long your stay will be. We don't normally give her our phones, but we happily made an exception and tried to distract her with baby shark and the wiggles which worked for about 20 precious mins.
Make sure you bring a lovie (stuffed animal) they cherish
Anything that will make them feel like they are at home. We brought her huge (almost as big as her) bunny which she calls Be Be. It was nice to have and offered her a lot of comfort just having it around, not that she even cuddled it all that much - but having a piece of home was important I believe.
Bring a change of clothes for bub and wear SHOES
At least one change of clothes, preferably 2-3 sets. Make sure they are wearing socks at a minimum, but preferably closed toed shoes.
Hospitals are rampant with staph and other bacterial nasties, so keep covered up..... all of you. I once met a women who got an infection in her foot after wearing flip flops in the hospital, and it robbed her of quality life immensely, maiming all her muscles into a Swiss cheese like consistency full of holes and unable to work properly. True story.
Bring warm clothes for all of you
ER/hospitals tend to be quite cold, and a spare jumper goes a long way (plus you won't have to ask for one of their hospital blankets. Yuck).
Bring all the necessary cards
You might be in a rush and panicking, but make sure that you have your Medicare card and private health fund card with you. If you don't normally carry these around, I would recommend saving the membership numbers in your notes app on your phone.
I didn't know how bad our little girl would be, or how long we would be in the ER, but I instinctively grabbed some organic raisins on the way out the door at 1:30am. She obviously couldn't have any, but they were handy to have for us.
Bring a hand santiser of your chosing
I forgot mine, and regretted it! I personally don't like hand santisers because they are bad for your gut biome, and typically have some nasty stuff in them. However, Dr. Bronner's has an organic lavender hand spray that is to die for and I love having this is my bag when I really need it. And when you're locked in a disease infested hospital, especially with a kid suffering from gastro, that is a good time to be germ free!
Notepad or Notes App
Most of the time protocol at the ER/hospitals is to collect information and access how to move ahead. For instance, you might be asked to know or track when the last time your baby had a drink - did they vomit - did they get diarrhea? Tick, yes/no. Having a pen and paper handy is a great way to make a chart and stay organised so that you can present the doctor with all the crucial information.
Well, that's it. Hope you don't find yourself near the ER any time soon!
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