What is “The Early Start Programme”?

Sponsored by Lions Club International, MedicAlert’s Early Start Programme offers free membership for vulnerable children every year up until their 10th birthday.

Membership provides each child with a personal electronic record that securely stores their information including comprehensive medical history, directives or precautions to ensure fast and accurate first care decisions in an emergency. This full record is only a phone call away via the 24/7 emergency phone line. 

Each child also receives their first item of MedicAlert jewellery free of charge. The disc is engraved with their most critical medical information, our emergency phone line and their unique membership number, so that paramedics and first responders can access the child’s electronic record without delay.

To celebrate 55 years of MedicAlert and the partnership with Lions Club International, our charity is boosting funds for this programme, adding £1 for every £2 donated by The Lions, so that more children can benefit from the life-saving medical ID service. This joint funding will run for one year.

ESP in action

Joshua

Joshua Mountford is 6 years old and suffers from several conditions including eczema, asthma, hay fever and was recently diagnosed with a severe nut allergy. He became a MedicAlert member through our ‘Early Start Programme’ when he was 3 years old. He was offered free annual membership up to his 10th birthday and his first MedicAlert bracelet was also free of charge for him.

His MedicAlert membership and ID jewellery help to provide his family with the peace of mind that, in an emergency situation, his details can be obtained quickly when every second matters.

Kate, Joshua’s mum, discovered the Early Start Programme through her work as a Community First Responder. She shares Joshua’s story to highlight how valuable MedicAlert can be:

“Both Joshua’s dad and I are Community First Responders within our local area. The Early Start programme came to our attention when we organised and attended an awareness meeting arranged by a local Lion, David of Thirsk Lion Club; one of the speakers was a gentleman named John - the Lions Club national MedicAlert coordinator.

We were already aware of medical ID jewellery and the protection it provides to the wearer; however, we hadn’t yet come across anything we thought would be suitable for Joshua. After the meeting with John, we looked further into the Early Start scheme and realised we had found the perfect thing to keep Joshua safe. We registered straight away and Joshua became a member.

We try our best to ensure Joshua isn’t affected by the precautions we take due to his allergy. When we ask, he says his allergy doesn't make him feel different to anyone else, which I am thankful for. Now he has his MedicAlert membership and ID jewellery, I have peace of mind and know it’s a lifeline for him, should the worst happen.”

Jacob

Maya Hylton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just over a year old and she has been a MedicAlert member since 2013. 

Joyce, Maya’s mum, explains how MedicAlert has helped their family, giving them reassurance and peace of mind: 

“As with all toddlers, we feared that Maya may wander off and become separated from us and have a medical emergency. Being so young and unable to talk, we knew that the MedicAlert bracelet was just what we needed. We received the bracelet and Maya’s membership free of charge, as part of the Early Start Programme. Many years on, Maya talks nonstop, but the worry of her blood sugar going dangerously low and no one knowing what is wrong with her still remains. The MedicAlert bracelet that she wears reassures us that she will have a voice and it gives us comfort.”

Jacob

Jacob Clark has Haemophilia B. He is also allergic to aspirin. Jacob became a MedicAlert member through the Early Start Programme and he wears his MedicAlert sports band with pride. His hidden medical conditions are engraved on his bracelet, so they can be seen by his teachers if he has an accident and cuts himself whilst at school.

Mum Eloise tells us that Jacob wearing MedicAlert jewellery gives her reassurance. She has the peace of mind that when he is away from her, whether it be on a school trip or when he is at one of his various clubs, the leaders there have access to Jacobs details should there be an emergency. 

“In the event of a medical emergency, I know that MedicAlert is only a phone call away, so that Jacob gets the treatment that he needs. This gives me peace of mind when he is away from me and I am reassured knowing he is wearing his MedicAlert bracelet.” 

Dear Parents,

When your child is living with a medical condition, it can be quite challenging and stressful. They may have an allergy that puts them at risk of an anaphylactic reaction, diabetes that needs to be managed and monitored, epilepsy, autism or a heart condition that teachers need to be aware of. As a parent, you want to keep your child safe, but you cannot be there, speaking for them, all the time.

This is a potentially life-saving service provided by MedicAlert and sponsored by the Lions Club International throughout the UK. It offers parents and the entire family the reassurance that, in the event of an emergency situation, their child will be safe.

For more information about the Early Start Programme and to apply for free MedicAlert membership and medical ID jewellery for your child, click on the button below:


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