I have a backlog of many interesting parenting questions, but I wanted to digress for a week. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank a special group of people.
Over the years, many people have shared with me horror stories about traveling abroad and needing medical attention. Specifically, these issues arose when traveling with children. A fever in America is dealt with by a visit to a doctor and perhaps some antibiotics. When we’re out of the country, even the simplest of issues can become difficult to deal with.
While in Eretz Yisrael a short while ago, my son dislocated his elbow while reaching for a chocolate egg. For those that are unfamiliar with what these are, it’s a bit of chocolate with a tiny toy in the middle, enclosed in an egg-shaped plastic container. It costs approximately 8 NIS, or here in America it seems to go for about $3.50. I highly recommend a second mortgage on your house if your kids like them.
In any case, I’m sure some of your children have dislocated their elbow as well. It’s painful when the arm moves, and quite scary for the child (as well as for newer parents). My son had dislocated the same elbow about a month ago, and it only took our local doctor half of a second to fix it.
When it happened again in Eretz Yisroel, we knew immediately what had to be done. We weren’t overly concerned, we just needed to get it fixed quickly. However, we found out that it’s just not as simple when you’re abroad. Baruch Hashem all ended well, and my son’s dislocated elbow was fixed.
The day after we arrived back to New York, one of my other sons had a serious allergic reaction. With his face and body swelling up, we were about to call our doctor. As I was dialing, he said, “My lips are hurting me.” That changed everything. I called Hatzalah. Three minutes later, two cars pulled up and some men came rushing in. Two minutes later there were a few more cars and an ambulance. Baruch Hashem, he was OK – needed some medicine and was good as new.
We are very fortunate to have an organization such as Hatzalah. They are professional, arrive quickly when we call, know what to do, and don’t request payment. There are a few things that all parents should keep in mind.
1) Make sure your children know Hatzalah’s number by heart. Keep it posted near the phone as well.
2) Make sure your house number is easy to find – especially at night.
3) If you’re not sure whether to call, make the call.
4) Donate money to Hatzalah.
5) When traveling, buy travel insurance. It’s cheap and smart and I’m thankful we had it when we travelled.
Yes, this is not a typical parenting article – but sometimes parenting means being prepared for things that you don’t want to happen.
Wishing you all a wonderful and safe Shabbos.
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.