(Closed) My friend wants me to be her child's emergency contact, but I'm not so sure?

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
7638 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
sarabee :  Many places require more than one contact. Are you the primary contact?

And why doesn’t she have a cell phone? At least here (Australia) you can get dirt cheap pre-pay ones.

I’d agree only if a parent and the grandmother were contacts ahead of you, i.e. an absolute last resort. I had my mother listed as 3rd contact (after me and DH) and in 15+ years she was never called, as far as I know. And DH (2nd contact) was called pretty rarely, unless there were regular calls he never told me about, which I doubt.

Post # 3
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We fretted over emergency contacts for our child, as we didn’t have a whole lot of reliable choices.  My parents are too far, DHs partially snow bird, DH’s sister works nights and is hard to get a hold of via cell (we call her husband if we want to speak with SIL) and my brother was until a few months ago child clueless. 

I spoke to a co-worker about our worries, and all of my co-workers told me they have never used their emergency contact. They have them, but daycare really wants to get mom/dad first and will take a couple tries before they start going for emergency contacts. 

If you don’t want to be, though, you can say no, or ask your friend who their last contact was and if they got called. 

Post # 4
85 posts
Worker bee

If you said you don’t have a car seat as excuse she might get you one. 45 minutes drive away I am not sure if she would buy it since my co-workers take 1.5 hours to get pick up their kids. Why don’t they have a cell phone? I would say don’t text back. Hopefully by then she would gotten another person. Sometimes people changed their mind and hopefully they would go to the grandmother. IF you are not comfortable then don’t do it. You can say you don’t have experiences with children and plus you have a lot of things to do after work. Sometimes people like to pray on those without children thinking they have nothing to do and is available all the time. 

Post # 6
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m sure she knows your situation. You may have been just an extra person that she trusts that would be there if plan A, B, C failed.


And not one of them has a cellphone?? I would think a daycare center would require a parent to have one. 

Post # 7
3587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Keep in mind that as an emergency contact, you shouldn’t be called except for in emergency situations. And if there is a true emergency, you probably would not need a carseat.

I taught for four years and never dialed the number of an emergency contact. If the kid is just sick or threw up or something, they should not be calling the emergency contact. But I absolutely get where you are coming from. 

Personally, I’d wait and see what happens. They will probably never call you. And if it does turn out they are calling regularly, perhaps then you can ask her to take you off the list. Which, you’re probably very low down on the list for all the reasons you gave. I am thinking they did include the grandma. Even the doggy daycare I take my dog to had me putting down something like six different people they can call.

So I am super curious as to why they don’t have cell phones? That is baffling to me. 😛// ETA read your update on that.

Post # 8
2668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I would also try to find out whether you’re the primary contact – maybe she needed to list a certain amount and couldn’t think of anyone else to take the last spot? I have 3 young siblings (a full sister aged 13 and 2 half brothers aged 8 and 4). I am the third emergency contact for all 3 of them, even though I work about an hour away. I have never received a call about any of them and have been listed for many many years now.

Post # 11
377 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
sarabee :  Maybe tell her “I am flattered but this won’t work for me. I don’t have extra vacation days and do not have a car seat.” Alternatively, you can say something along the lines of “sorry, this won’t fly at work” or even mention that work will not be understanding unless it is a relative by blood/marriage. Even ‘I work too far away and don’t feel comfortable with this’ or simply ‘sorry, I am too busy at work and can’t.’

Post # 12
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

In an actual emergency EMS would be contacted. The grandma may have been listed, you may just be another option. Some emergency cards leave room for the parents plus 3 additional contacts. 

In case of tummy ache, vomiting fever, owie on the playground, you would be called only if the parents and other contacts listed before you couldn’t be reached. Although it would be nice if you could pick up the child, more often than not, the “non-parent contacts” listed on the card typically just get in contact with the Mom or Dad for us. If the child needs to be picked up, it would ultimately fall on the parents. 

I think you should talk to your friend. Let her know it’s unlikely you’d be able to come get her kid and ask her if she can she at least give you some phone numbers to contact someone who could in an emergency. I could be wrong but you may be looking to deep in to this. 

Post # 13
47445 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
sarabee :  She should have asked you before she did this, not told you after.

I think your concerns are valid. I would tell her that you are unable to be an emergency contact for a number of reasons. I would not spell out those reasons.

I would offer her assistance in cell phone shopping if she is unable to do it on her own.

Post # 14
7707 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I think it is absolutely reasonable for you to tell her that while you are flattered, you cannot accept being listed as an emergency contact. Tell her honestly that your work will not be accommodating (either to responding to a situation with the daycare, taking their calls, or you having to contact her), and that you are simply not comfortable with the role she has assigned you. But FWIW, I wouldn’t ever allow her to put me in the middle and try to contact her DH, either. If they do not have ways to contact one another and refuse to get cellphones, that’s their problem and not yours. If you make yourself available to be taken advantage of, she will continue to do it.

Post # 15
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

Every situation is different I suppose.

For example, I don’t own a car…but if I was asked to be an emergency contact for my niece or my friend’s daughter I would accept and feel honoured they trust me to be there for their child at a critical moment when they cannot. Besides, you don’t need a car seat to hop on a bus!

Just my two cents 🙂

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