What Everyone Wants to Know About the Baby-Sitter Consent Form

There you are in the emergency room of the hospital with your grand-daughter who has a broken arm. The doctor asks, "Are you the parent?" You reply in the negative. The doctor says, "I'm sorry, but we are not allowed to set the arm without the parents' approval." What will you do then? Yell and scream, threaten legal action? Odds are this will not work, in fact you will be worse off than before.

How many times are children left with relatives, friends or neighbors without adequate protection? We recommend that whenever you become involved with any child under the age of eighteen or leave your minor child with someone else you use this document.

When you use this form, the person holding the completed form may:

  • Act as the child's temporary custodian. This means the custodian can sign forms that require a parent's signature such as registering to play organized sports, joining the boy scouts, and field trip requests.
  • Relax because the parents hold them harmless from liability for injuries to the child if they exercise reasonable care.
  • Perform or authorize first aid and other medical care for the child in their custody. This may save a child unnecessary suffering by removing delays.
  • Discipline the child without fear of reprisal. The parent or guardian authorizes the type of discipline. This way, you rest ensured that the discipline given is that which the parent wants.

Doctors argue that if immediate medical treatment or surgery is given to children with bone injuries, poisoning or other tissue destructive maladies, then there is a higher probability of averting permanent damage to the child. If the person in custody of the child has a properly executed Baby-Sitter Consent Form, consent for the needed therapy is as immediate as it will be when the natural parents or legal guardian are present. The child will be assured the best treatment available and the best chance of recovery.

Also, the more information the parents write on the form, the faster will be the cure. The form calls for (1) information on medical insurance carriers, (2) preferred doctors, (3) medical history, (4) where medical documents on the child are located, and (5) other special instructions for the child's care.

It is important for the custodian to have the right to file suit to enforce the agreement under a Special Power of Attorney to sue. The very fact that the custodian may show the power to a doctor, nurse or to the hospital will prevent reluctance in honoring the document. If need be, the custodian may obtain at the court house an immediate injunction for the medical professionals to do or not to do some procedure where there is a controversy or difference of opinion on the treatment.

Everyone in our families--grand parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and neighbors--are given executed forms so they have continuing authority to care for the minor children in addition to the current "baby-sitter". You never know who will be near the scene of the child's accident.

You will want to use this form whenever you act as a scoutmaster, chaperone or host of a child's party when the parents do not attend. What if a child starts choking and needs medical attention, calling an ambulance and getting medical care can be authorized by you without fear that you will be stuck with the bill. Any treatment you authorize is in reality the parent's authorization. There is no way for you to be held liable for the debt incurred in obtaining the necessary treatment.

In the estate notebook you have extra copies of the forms. Always treat the last copy as "seed grain" --don't ever use it for anything but making extra copies.

You will want to share these forms with other parents and provide them with a copy of this educational memorandum. This form is needed by everyone with children or with children in their care. The more people who are protected, the better our communities will be.

Both the parents and the "baby-sitter" sign the form. In addition, a notary authenticates the document to make it more acceptable to hospitals and doctors. This means you must plan ahead. You need to get one filled out by all those you leave your children with or ask you to watch their children. There must be a completed form for every child. You should always keep blank forms in your estate notebook.

Practicing preventative law protects you in any situation. The Baby-Sitter Consent Form is another tool to put in your legal/medical emergency "backpack." You need all the basic documents to obtain the minimum level of protection everyone eighteen and over needs. This basic protection is so important that we offer discounts to client family members of 20% off our standard fees.

Disclaimer

The content of this memorandum is general in nature and is meant to be used for informational purposes only. Due to possible changes in the law and its interpretation as well as the uniqueness of each individual's situation, this memorandum should not be relied upon as an expression of legal advice. Before any action is taken by the reader, it is imperative that legal counsel or professional advisors be consulted.