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Kirby: 'Baby on Board' signs for boomers

Published April 24, 2013 1:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Remember those yellow "Baby on Board" caution signs? They were popular back in the '80s, the idea being to alert motorists otherwise inclined to smash into you that there was a fragile baby on board.

Yeah, I thought that was funny, too. Even though it was the '80s, we're still talking about America. No amount of appealing to our better nature works when it conflicts with our self-entitlement.

The popularity of the signs waned when people started spoofing them with "Idiot on Board" and "Baby, I'm Bored" signs. Also, this is Utah. Just about every car had a baby in it.

But the yellow signs are back, this time with you in mind. Not babies. You. America is aging. More of us are out on the highway with pre-existing medical conditions.

Last month I attended the Utah Chiefs of Police Association convention in St. George. I go every year as a matter of professional interest.

Note: My interest has nothing to do with being a newspaper columnist. I simply like to stay abreast of the latest things cops might use should I choose not to cooperate next time.

Never mind that. Among the vendors was Rhonda Parker, a nice lady pushing "The Utah Yellow Dot Program," intended to help whomever was onboard AFTER a crash.

In broad strokes, the program provides valuable information to emergency medical people, firefighters, cops and anyone else who comes to your rescue following a crash.

For example, say you were pulling into a parking space at a grocery store, but instead drove inside the store, past the produce department, over a cat food display, through the meat section and into a bathroom.

With the Yellow Dot Program, responding paramedics could access important information about you that would help with your care. That way they won't have to slap you back to consciousness while asking, "Hey! Hey, was your butt always between your shoulder blades?"

Yellow Dot is so easy I can do it. In fact, I did. Here's how it works:

First, get a picture of yourself, preferably a recent one. Rescuers prying you out of your vehicle with the Jaws of Life aren't going to care what you looked like in 1965. Tape the picture to the Yellow Dot information form.

Second, fill out the information form with emergency contact numbers, pertinent allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, current medications and preferred hospital.

This information will help first responders properly assess your condition. For example, my wife wrote in my information form, "He was disoriented and combative BEFORE the crash."

Third, place the little yellow sticker (about the size of a 50-cent piece) in the lower left corner of your back window. It's not technically a "Geezer on Board" sign, but you can call it that. I do.

Finally, put the completed form into the glove box of your vehicle where emergency rescue people — alerted by the yellow sticker — will look for it.

Assuming, of course, that your ride isn't fully engulfed in flames, at the bottom of a river or in a billion pieces, first responders will see the sticker, look in your glove box and better know who they're dealing with.

Yellow Dot isn't just for aging motorists such as me. It's for anyone interested in helping out with their own emergency medical care.

If you want to know more, visit http://www.UtahYellowDot.com. Or you could just wait until it's too late.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.