School is almost out and that means it is time for summer activities for the kids. Whether you have your kids headed off to a YMCA summer camp, soccer, tennis, or swimming, it means filling out new emergency contact information for all of your kids’ activities. However, this may give you a false sense of security.

The contact list you provide to the camp counselor or tennis coach lets them know who to contact in the event something happens to your kids. However, if your kids need medical care and you cannot be reached, your emergency contacts may not be able to help. Due to HIPAA laws, medical personnel cannot discuss the care and treatment of your child with your emergency contact unless they are specifically authorized, in writing, as your child’s agent for HIPAA. So unless your child has a medical power of attorney authorizing the emergency contact to access their medical information, they may not be able to help.

Also, in the event anything happened to you, your emergency contact may not be able to immediately care for your child. In the event something were to happen and no one showed up to pick up the kids at camp, the camp would want to call the emergency contacts you listed. However, many camps may not release the children into their custody – they would instead likely call the police, and there is a chance your kids could be taken into child protective services, foster care, until you could tell authorities where you wanted your kids to go or, in the event you were unable to communicate your wishes, until a judge could sort it out. It is possible that this could happen even if you have already named long-term guardians in your will or other estate planning documents. That is why you need to name first responders according to Minnesota law.

For more information, check out our two part guide to protecting your kids at camp this summer.

To learn how to protect your kids while they are at their summer activities, give us a call today at 763-420-5087.

Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
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