What Is a Child Medical Consent?

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  • Written By: Renee Booker
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
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When the parents, or legal guardian, or a minor child are planning to be away from home for business or personal reasons, or if a minor child is planning on traveling without the parents or legal guardian in the care of a temporary caregiver, a child medical consent form is frequently executed in case of an emergency. In most jurisdictions, a doctor or hospital may not legally treat a minor child without consent of a parent or legal guardian. For this reason, the law in many jurisdictions allows the parent or legal guardian to give temporary authority for another adult to consent to medical treatment in his or her absence through the use of a child medical consent document.

In most cases. a child medical consent is considered to be a valid legal document that gives the a temporary caregiver permission and authority to consent to medical treatment in the absence of the parent or legal guardian. Although the requirements may vary by jurisdiction, the contents of a valid child medical consent form generally include identifying information for the child, parent, or legal guardian, and the temporary caregiver, as well as the dates that the document is effective and any restrictions to the consent. Signing in front of a notary public is recommended, and may be required in some jurisdictions.


The child's full name, date of birth, and social security number, if in the United States, should be noted on the form, as well as the full names of the parent or legal guardian and caregiver. A contact number should also be included for the parent or legal guardian. The date that the consent shall become effective as well as the date of termination should be clearly noted. If the parent or legal guardian is not sure when he or she will return, then an approximate return date may be sufficient or words indicating that the consent will terminate upon the return of the parent or legal guardian.

Information that may be helpful to a medical provider in the event of an emergency should also be noted on a child medical consent, such as any allergies or medical conditions from which the child suffers. The name of the child's regular doctor and preferred hospital are also commonly noted. Any limitations to the consent given to the temporary caregiver should be clearly outlined, such as not being authorized to consent to a blood transfusion or a prohibition from withdrawing life support.


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