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How to Handle Emergencies

On Holidays

At home, you probably have your doctors' numbers posted near the phone and your child's medical records handy in case of an emergency. On holiday, you should be no less prepared. Here are some tips:

Before You Go

  • Print and fill out the Emergency Checklist: Travelling With Children
  • Ask your doctor if he or she can refer you to a physician at your destination. And write down the names and numbers of all your family's doctors in case another doctor needs to contact them.
  • Consider carrying extra medication in a separate bag in case the first bag is lost. Or get copies of prescriptions from your doctor in case you lose your medications.
  • Consider taking along a spare pair of glasses or contact lenses.
  • If you'll be travelling overseas, check for vaccination recommendations and health alerts. And visit the doctor at least eight weeks before you leave for your trip to any additional vaccinations and talk over any individual health problems.
  • Get an E111 form/card if you are visiting another EU state, from your local health authority

On the Road

  • When you reach your destination, check the phone book for emergency numbers; 911 doesn't work everywhere. And make sure you and your children know your local address and your room number, if any, in case you need to tell an emergency operator.
  • If you need a doctor or dentist (and you have no referrals from your own physician or insurance company), ask at your hotel's reception.
  • Be sure to tell the health care provider about any pre-existing conditions, allergies, or medications. If you're allergic to any drugs or you have a serious illness, consider wearing a MedicAlert bracelet.
  • If your child is injured or becomes ill, call your general practitioner once his condition has stabilised. He or she may wish to talk to the attending physician and suggest a follow-up appointment when you return home

    Reprinted with kind permission from