(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 # 16
1008 posts
Bumble bee

When my sister lived in NJ (at least a 40 minute drive from where I live in NYC) I was the ONE emergency contact for my niece. (I know that family is different but just to give you my experience and this was for more than two years) 

I was never called for her, and the one time I did get a call, the school had solved the issue without me needing to go out there (they were concerned about bobos (pacifiers) for my nephew, lol). 

The emergency contacts are really, really for emergencies only, but if you’re not comfortable, say no. It shouldn’t be something you resent or don’t want to do, because if you do get called, you’ll need to respond. 

Post # 17
2403 posts
Buzzing bee

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sarabee :  Hey OP, I think 
View original reply
mrsbrizz2017 has the best answer. In a real emergency, EMS would be called. No one would be waiting 45 minutes+ for you in an emergency. They would get in touch with you, so that you could get in touch with the parents:

“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.”

Post # 18
865 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I work in daycare and we  pretty much never call the emergency contacts. We can’t ‘require’ any but we strongly encourage parents to have several people on their emergency contact/authorised pick up list because we legally cannot release a child to a person not on the list. Which means that even if both parents are in a terrible car accident we can’t release to grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc unless they’re on the list. We also can’t have a child in our care for more than 13 hours, so if we can’t find anyone on the contact list who can come get the child they have to be released to the Ministry of Children and Families instead. Fortunately in the 4.5 years I’ve been working in the field it’s never gotten that far. Most likely you will never be called. But still, you have to do what feels right to you.

I would try to get some more info from your friend, are you the emergency contact, or just an emergency contact? 

Post # 19
9127 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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sarabee :  I can’t believe she would to that without asking first! I don’t think you need to give your reasons for why it makes you uncomfortable, just tell her that you won’t be able to do it (when you give excuses the person will always find you a solution). 

Post # 20
3898 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

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sarabee :  yeah no.  I would either decline or tell her that I need a carseat in my car (she buys), I need contact info of at least 3 family members, and above all she and/or her husband needs to have a freaking cellphone it’s 2016. I would not agree to be the emergency contact withthout all thais in place. It suck that u are 45 mins away too, but that’s not the biggest problem. 

If I was her I would have a cellphone and so would my husband, and we would pick someone closer to be the emergency contact, closer by distance and relationship.

This is weird.

Post # 21
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I wouldn’t overthink this.  I doubt you will ever be called anyways.

Post # 22
3107 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

I think you should get more info from her first, if she has already listed her mother or others before you, and you’re lower on the list it’s very doubtful that you’d ever be called and like others mentioned, in a true emergency they won’t be waiting on you for 45 minutes but more so that they want to get in touch with someone. 

Post # 23
3607 posts
Sugar bee

I think this is something that’s best reserved for family. If the grandma is close by, I would think they already listed her, and more than 3 emergency contacts for one child seems like a lot.

Agree with basically every PP that your friend and her DH really should get cellphones. 

Post # 24
1931 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

My SIL asked me to be the godparent of her child. I declined. I didn’t explain 100% WHY, but I did explain myself as I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I did tell her I wasn’t comfortabl with it. No regrets.

You have very logistical reasons for saying no – especially hte distance! – so I think that’s your best approach.

Post # 25
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m surprised she would do this without asking first.

To echo what others have said, these forms usually ask for up to three or more emergency contacts (I think I had three for my son).  It is possible Grandma is also on the list.

And emergency contact will only be used in a true emergency (not just a sick child), like both parents were in a terrible accident and now someone needs to go get the child, or it’s an hour past pick up time, no parent is reachable, can you come get the child?

I would think of this in regards to those true emergncies.  Would you be willing and able if the worst should happen?  If your answer is still no (totally fair if it is!) then I would just tell her you can’t make that committment.  

Post # 26
2673 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

No cell phones, and they just got a house phone? This is super weird. I assume they aren’t off the grid, survivalist types since they are on Facebook and have their kid in daycare….so what could possibly be the explanation?

Post # 27
999 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

In general, I’d say it’s not a big deal to be an emergency contact, since they should almost never contact you.

But with this friend in particular, I’d be more careful with boundaries. It’s completely ridiculous for you to be acting as a go-between with her husband because they have no way of getting in contact with each other. It doesn’t have to be a cell phone, but they should be able to reach each other via their work phone, email, FB, whatever.

I’d probably tell her that I have no problem being an emergency contact, but only on the condition that she and her husband do something to make themselves reachable. You understandably would want to be the person of last resort, not the first.

Post # 28
374 posts
Helper bee

I’d probably just tell her that it’s not going to be practical as you are often not contactable/available during work hours and don’t want to ‘let her down’ by being unavailable. If she pushes it, you could then say that you wouldn’t want to take on such a serious responsibility without having confidence that you could fulfil it. Good luck!

Post # 29
11381 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Um, if you have to use FB messenger to get him, why can’t the people trying to reach him do the same?

I’m not sure you need to decline this as it sounds like a last ditch thing, but you do need to stop being a phone operator for her. Just stop responding to her when you are at work. 

Tell her to GET A CELLPHONE for pete’s sake.

Post # 30
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

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aussiemum1248 :  here in the UK you can get free pay-as-you-go phones sometimes and even if you have to pay their a few pound (my old one cost £3 from carphone warehouse) all you have to do is buy a £10 or £15 top up and that can last ages if you dont use it much

they arent great phones (just basic old bar phones) but they do fine as an emergancy phone

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