Who You Gonna Call?

Emergency First Contact

Who would you call if  your child was seriously injured or diagnosed with a critical illness or chronic condition? Your spouse? Your parents or siblings? Your closest friend? People who are extremely close to your child need to be contacted, but they might not be the best first contacts, especially if they tend to respond emotionally.

A good first contact person is someone who meets several of the following criteria:

  • Remains calm in a crisis
  • Shows compassion, but can maintain emotional distance
  • Has medical training or background
  • Knows how to handle a medical crisis
  • Knows your family
  • Shares your faith

People who might qualify are:

  • Your church pastor
  • A relative (cousin, aunt, uncle)
  • A longtime neighbor
  • A member of your church family who’s a nurse, doctor or EMT
  • A co-worker or boss
  • A teacher or school counselor
  • A member of your small church group, sometimes called cell groups or care and concern groups

If you’re too emotional to talk on the phone, ask the doctor or nurse to call and speak to your contact person. If you do the talking, explain the situation quickly and clearly. Ask your contact person to deliver the news to close family members face-to-face if possible. If the news can only be delivered by phone, ask the contact person to make sure someone is with your loved ones when the call is made. And ask them to arrange rides to the hospital or doctor’s office for family members and loved ones.

By enlisting a contact person, you’ll begin to create a support system to use throughout your child’s illness and hospitalization. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the safe thing to do. Your family will be glad you did.

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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