In the event of a traffic accident, if an adult is seriously injured and cannot speak, the emergency personnel can face complications in attending any minors inside the vehicle. With the objective of resolving this problem, the state of Idaho (United States) counts with the "WHALE Program", acronym for "We Have A Little Emergency." Its objective is to enable all of those persons participating in the accident's rescue operations to obtain all the information required for attending the youngest victims.
This initiative enables the emergency and rescue personnel to know the minor's name, the number for contacting the child's parents or closest relatives, and any possible illnesses that may affect the child if medical attention is required.
It is a personal emergency identification card that identifies children, located on the child restraint system. This way, emergency personnel can refer to this card to find all the information required about the child.
The WHALE program counts with the support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is developed by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE "WHALE" KIT?
This kit comes with a card that includes all relevant information: child's name, date of birth, medical history and emergency contact persons. A picture of the child can also be glued onto the card to avoid any confusion.
This card should be affixed onto the rear side of the child restraint system. Furthermore, we should check that it remains hidden from view to protect the child's privacy.
So that emergency personnel can know that they have this information available, we must affix two WHALE stickers (with the logo) on the side, rear windows as well as on the sides of the child's car seat.
It's important to update the identification card information so that it includes any new medical concerns, a recent photo of the child, etc. This way, in the case of an accident, the health personnel will have all necessary data up to date.
Idaho distributes approximately 20,000 kits per year.
We must bear in mind that medical information is particularly relevant. When providing medical attention, it is important to know if the child is epileptic, hemophiliac or has any other special needs. Remember, "Children's Road Safety" includes a section with recommendations and materials for children with special needs.
In this regard, and given the importance of reacting properly when faced with a traffic accident, we recommend this infographic presenting the PAS (Protect, Alert and Save) technique.