Is your son or daughter getting ready to head off to college? If so, they are probably excited and apprehensive about their new found independence. Going to college is an exciting rite of passage full of new learning experiences, new friends, fun and—unfortunately—sometimes emergencies. In fact, it may be as a college freshman that your son or daughter first deals with a life emergency on their own—without mom or dad to take care of things.
It is important to make sure your student has important phone numbers, knows their medical history and has a health insurance card. Verify that they have a current registration and insurance card in their vehicle. Before you drop your student off on campus, take some time to pass along this critical advice about emergencies that they might encounter:
I lost my wallet
If your wallet is missing, assume it has been stolen. Look for it in the last place you remember having it, but do not hesitate to act. Call your bank and report your debit card as stolen. Call any credit cards and report them stolen. File a stolen wallet report so you have a police report in case your cards are used.
I lost my phone
If your phone is missing, use a friend’s phone to call and try to locate it. If you have an iPhone use Find My iPhone to try to track it. If you are unable to locate the phone within a few minutes, call your cell service provider and put a temporary hold on your account. This will stop someone else from running up your phone bill which can be very costly.
How to protect my identity
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to obtain credit or other services in your name. To prevent identity theft while at college, protect your personal information like bank account numbers, your social security number, and any personal financial documents. Keep these in a private, secure place. Do not openly discuss your finances with anyone. Secure your laptop, phone and iPad with strong passwords. Prevention is key with identity theft!
I got in a car accident
Car accidents can happen to anyone, especially when you are driving in an unfamiliar area. If you get into a car accident, try to stay calm. If you can safely move to the side of the road do so. Exchange insurance information with the other driver and wait for the police to arrive. Call 911 if you need to. Even if you believe the accident was your fault do not make any statements about fault to the other driver or police. To file a legitimate auto accident claim you will want pictures of any damage, a copy of the police report, and the identification and insurance information for the other driver. If you were injured, even minor injuries, go to the hospital to get checked.
Remember, mom and dad are just a call away. If you find yourself in an emergency, these are important guidelines to follow, but as soon as you can, call home! Mom and dad are always there to help.
The guest post above was submitted by Becky Wilcox
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