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January 20, 2011 - MMH Spotlight: WHALE Identification Program


Fast Facts:

• In 2008, 193,000 children under the age of four were involved in automobile crashes.
• The problem facing most emergency personnel is that if adults within a vehicle became seriously injured or unable to talk due to an automobile accident, emergency personnel have no easy way of identifying the child or their special needs.
• Sometimes knowing a child’s name can help rescue workers comfort a frightened child, while knowing who to contact in an emergency allows them to notify parents or the next closest family member right away.
• This is where WHALE, “We Have a Little Emergency” comes in.

What is WHALE?
WHALE is an identification program that started in the early 1990s by Connie Day, a child caregiver in Virginia, who wondered what would happen to the children in her care in the event of a car accident. The program is now recognized and used by emergency personnel in 34 states.

Participating in the WHALE Program is easy. All you need to do is complete an information card and place it in the provided plastic self-adhesive holder, which adheres to the back of your child’s safety seat. Then, place two WHALE window clings on the lower corner of your vehicle’s rear side windows. Adhere two WHALE safety seat stickers to your child’s safety seat. This will indicate to emergency personnel that you and your child participate in the WHALE program and identification information is accessible.

Contents of WHALE Packet
Identification Card and Holder
A complete description of your child can be accessible to any medical personnel fast and easy in the case of an automobile accident. The identification card includes the following:
Parent/Guardian Name:
Address:
City/State:
Phone (Home and Work):
Emergency Contact (other than parent):
Phone (Home and Work):
Date of Child’s Birth:

You can also include a photo of your child and the date the photo was taken. At the very bottom is a place to list all allergies/medications/conditions your child has in case medical treatment is necessary.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind
It’s a good idea to pass on WHALE information and materials to others who routinely drive your child.
Remember to note corrections on the information card as details change and update your child’s picture.
Remove the information card from the safety seat if you sell or donate your child’s car seat.

How to Get Started
For more information or to receive WHALE program materials contact Jesse Thompson, trauma program coordinator, at Marietta Memorial Hospital at (740) 376-1924.

The Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system governed by a volunteer board of community members that are committed to providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of our region. We are comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities and a retirement community. We work in innovative ways to meet the healthcare challenges of today, while preparing for health needs of our communities in the future.

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Memorial Health System
401 Matthew Street, Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 374-1400
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