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Medical Alert notification

We have a young man who just joined out Troop. He has seizures and is wondering if there was a specific identification that could be placed on the uniform and if so where.

Doesn’t he wear a medical alert bracelet?

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Use the standard bracelet. I assume he already wears one?


No, there is no specific ID worn on the uniform for this. This comes down to a privacy issue, even though one could argue the utility in having some way for others to readily identify those with adverse medical conditions requiring quick action for care. Medical alert bracelets are a personal/family choice, and are not required.

BSA does require an Annual Health and Medical Record (AHMR) for ALL participants, but does not say these must be present on outings. See Guide to Safe Socuting https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss05/ )

There are a number of medical issues that leaders need to be aware of with their Scouts. All issues and conditions must be clearly spelled out on the AHMR.

One way to exercise due diligence and your Duty of Care (legalese) is to review these before each and every outing, and bring them with you on the outing. We have a Committee Member whose sole responsibility is to manage these for the Troop (it is quite a task). For each outing, this person puts together a small notebook with the AHMRs of ALL participants.

The designated leader of the event reviews these forms for medical issues… The most common I deal with are asthma requiring inhalers and allergies requiring epi-pen. Before we depart, I ask these Scouts (discreetly) to get and show me their inhalers or epi-pens. If they don’t have them, they don’t go. And, they must be on their person, or within reach, at all times. (You will notice on the new medical form, page B2, that BSA has put this at the forefront!)

For other conditions I do not understand, nor have experience dealing with (epilepsy, seizures, etc.), I have conversations with the parents before the outing. I also explain to the parents that I must share this info with the other leader required to be on the outing, for health and safety reasons.

For life threatening conditions (asthma and anaphylaxis), I also make sure that everyone in the group knows where the inhalers or epi-pens are, and how to help the person use them. Explain this to parents (and get their consent) before you share the info, because this is ultimately for the health and safety of their loved ones.

You cannot be with your Scouts at all times. Buddies need to be able to help each other, so give them the knowledge and training they need to do this. In your case, make sure Scouts know what to do for seizures, since this will now be more likely for your unit… Role play it for training. Have fun with it. This could help eliminate stigma, confusion, embarrassment, and injuries when a seizure does occur.

(Side note…you can purchase an epi-pen trainer for about $8. I take this out sometimes if there are Scouts milling around, and do training or review sessions. When the manure hits the rotating air mover, they will fall back on their training.)

Living the Dream,

Scouter Rob

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I am guessing that the parents don’t mind (may want) people to know. One issue with the idea of something on the uniform is that often our scouts are not in uniform (well mine typically wear a troop t-shirt to things where they typically get dirty).

Now if parents are on board awareness, it would be totally appropriate to have a troop discussion to cover this. I would focus on first aid and that seizures don’t define the scout.

My troop is aware of which of their members carry epipens as their parents have agreed to that being discussed. We used the discussion as a chance to practice using the pen as well letting the scout ensure that they were used correctly.

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