Although it is unlikely that a physician would withhold emergency care in a life threatening situation due to a lack of parental consent, it is still a good idea to prepare medical release forms for babysitters whenever leaving your children in someone else's care. Doctors may withhold care to children for injuries that are not life threatening out of fear of a potential lawsuit from parents.
Medical Release Forms Explained
A medical release form is a document you sign that grants permission to a babysitter to seek medical assistance for your minor child or children. This form is necessary because some doctors and other medical personnel will refuse to treat a child if permission from the parent or legal guardian has not been plainly stated.
Even if your child or children are left in the care of another adult relative - such as an uncle or grandmother - doctors may still refuse treatment until the parent is contacted.
Include information on medical release forms for babysitters that may assist the medical personnel in treating your child or children until you can be reached:
- Your name
- The name of your child or children
- The name of the babysitter
- A statement that grants permission to the babysitter to seek medical care for your child or children along with any qualifying details
- Contact information where you can be reached
- Insurance information:
- Name of insurer
- Policy number
- Copy of insurance card, if applicable
- A list of the child's or children's medications
- A list of the child's or children's allergies
- Any other pertinent medical information, such as diseases or recurring illnesses
- Name and contact information of the child's or children's primary physician
Some parents take the forms a step further and have the forms notarized, but in most cases it is sufficient to simply have a witness sign the form. On the other hand, you want the release form to seem as clear as possible to the fact that you grant permission for any needed medical care. Keep the form brief, but include all information that may be needed.
If you need help downloading the printable form, check out these helpful tips.
Accessibility to Babysitter
Don't go to all the trouble of creating a medical release form for your child's or children's babysitter without ever letting the babysitter know that the form exists. You should place the form in a prevalent place when you are away from home. If your babysitter routinely takes your child or children out of the home, then he or she should carry a copy of the form whenever outside the home.
You should also take the time to have a serious talk with the babysitter as to what the form indicates. If you don't want your babysitter to take your child or children in to see a doctor if the problem is minor - such as an earache or a skinned knee - then specify this. Remember that this form gives blanket authority to your babysitter to seek necessary medical care which you will be financially liable for, so you need to make clear the situations that merit a trip to the doctor and which situations should be dealt with upon your return.
In addition to placing the release form in a prevalent place, you should also place a map or written directions to the closest medical facility from your home for your babysitter's use.
Find Medical Release Forms for Babysitters Online
Plenty of parenting and other websites offer sample medical release forms for babysitters completely free of charge. Although the wording you choose for your forms may be slightly different than the forms you see online, be sure to include sufficient information so your child or children can receive medical care in case of an emergency.
Here is a brief list of some websites online offering free samples and templates for this important document:
There are plenty of other websites offering similar samples of medical release forms appropriate for babysitters. A quick Internet search will yield many suitable results.