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Student’s records should be handy

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Dear Abby: The letter in your column about what legal documents students should have once they reach the age of 18 prompted me to write.

With college starting again, please recommend that students have a personal fact sheet on hand, in a place where it can be easily located. It should include important information such as parents' names, address and phone numbers, food and drug allergies, prescription and non-prescription medications and dosages, the name and phone number of their family physician, dentist and pharmacy, their medical history and insurance information, etc.

New friends and acquaintances may not know these facts, or in an emergency will not remember them. The time it takes to look up the information in school records may mean the difference between life and death.

Because of my complex medical history and numerous prescriptions, this has been a lifesaver after accidents, when seeing new physicians and in emergency situations — especially when out of town. I keep it on my computer and hand the information out when necessary. Doctors and nurses rely on having an accurate and complete list of data. — Betty Nolan, associated professor, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Dear Betty: You have made a good point. In the past, I have usually targeted these suggestions to older adults. But everyone who lives independently should obey the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. And that means printing out copies of emergency information and informing friends, roommates and dormitory advisers where they can easily find it in an emergency.


Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips. © Universal Press Syndicate