We Have A Little Emergency
- What: Car seat safety identification
- Why: Make your child’s info available to emergency personnel
- Where: W.H.A.L.E. Website
What do whales have to do with anything, much less car seats? Oh, wait, my car seat weighs as much as a whale, right? Is as bulky as a whale? Is a whale of a burden to get in and out of my car and installed properly?
None of the above. The W.H.A.L.E. safety kit is a nifty program started by a caregiver in Virginia that has since gone national. W.H.A.L.E. kits are available across the nation for free. I’m terrified of car accidents, which is why I am so paranoid about car seats. It isn’t the car I don’t trust, it’s all the other crazy drivers out there that I can never predict. With W.H.A.L.E., I know that even if I’m incapacitated, my child will be taken care of.
W.H.A.L.E. kits come with three parts; an identification tag with photo, a sticker for the side of the car seat, and a window cling sticker for the vehicle. You fill out the identification card with your child’s name, photo, date of birth, medical issues and allergies, and an emergency contact person.
Imagine how awful a car crash is. Now imagine you’re a kid stuck in a car seat and your parent isn’t responding as you call for them. Wouldn’t it be much more reassuring to have emergency workers call your child by name while trying to help them? If your child has any allergies, then that can be a crucial ingredient for medical workers to know before giving treatment. And getting a familiar face for your child as quickly as possible would be a huge help for both you and your child. That’s what W.H.A.L.E. kits make happen.
The sticker goes on the car seat so emergency workers know to check it for the identification card. The window cling sticker serves the same purpose. If you’re concerned about identification theft, don’t worry. The ID card attaches to the back of your child’s safety seat where it isn’t readily visible.
One note of caution: if you travel with your car seat on an airplane, don’t forget to either remove the ID card or make sure it stays attached throughout your trip. The adhesive holds really well, but it isn’t meant for rubbing up against straps or having small children pick at it while waiting in long lines.
Personally I think you should have a kit for every car seat you own, so you probably want to pick up at least one extra, maybe more if you have a childcare provider who regularly drives your children. Most organizations provide the kits free of charge, but if there isn’t an organization near you, it is most definitely worth the piece of mind to order a batch online and share with friends. Another option is to ask a friend or relative who lives near a program to pick up one for you. All the pieces fit nicely inside a regular envelope and it will arrive via mail to your doorstep. If they don’t already know about the program, they can pick up one for themselves while they are at it. Mine arrived in the mail from our local organization, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were willing to mail to other states as well.
If you don’t already own a W.H.A.L.E. kit, get one now!