Snow, Ear Infections and Powers of Attorney . . .


This last week has been an exciting one for residents of Western Washington as we experienced “Snowmageddon 2019.” The snow has been quite impressive – we got 10 inches at our house Friday night/Saturday morning. Everything here slows down when it snows and there is a beauty in that as it requires us to change our plans, expectations, and just . . . be for a bit. It’s lovely.

However. Gearing up for snowfall like this in the Puget Sound area is not lovely. We are not a people that are well-equipped for this type of weather. Grocery stores were out of groceries but the lines were still 100+ people deep. People were canceling plans for next week. The local news stations were all about the weather 24/7, even when it was just raining in the days before the big snow. It was a little bit of anarchy.

That did not miss our house. I admittedly skipped the grocery store by ordering groceries via Instacart because I knew the grocery stores would be a mess. I could not predict that my son would get a double ear infection and we’d have to move everything around so we could get him to the pediatrician for antibiotics in the few hours they were open before the storm hit. We have an awesome nanny and support system but doctors’ visits are usually something one of us (me or my husband) try to attend. However, there have been times we have had to lean on others to handle appointments for us. Fortunately, most doctors’ offices have a system in place where you authorize certain important, involved people to do things for your kids on your behalf. Unfortunately, that’s not always up to date or available to some.

What a lot of folks don’t know is that a Power of Attorney is a document that can allow you to authorize another person to make decisions for your minor child. So, you can delegate decisions to someone who is picking up your kid from school or is helping you out in a pinch at the doctor’s office, etc. This is a power that may covered by a general power of attorney, but it helps if you can specifically refer to this power or at least include the applicable statute to ensure the power is available to the person you’ve appointed.

This week, my husband was able to brave the snow, get home, and cart both kids to the pediatrician (it took him 1.5 hours to do these tasks, which normally would have taken 45 minutes . . . thanks, Snowmageddon). However, it reminded me to review our powers of attorney to make sure that the necessary people have the required powers to help us if we can’t get home in time for the doctor’s appointment in the future. Believe me, the last thing you or your sweet kiddo wants is a double ear infection when you’re snowed in for 3+ days. Do yourself a favor and get an updated power of attorney that covers the power to help out with your minor kiddos on an as-needed basis!

Published 02/10/2019.