Add Kith + Kin to your college prep checklist
By Jeff Cummings | Kith + Kin
Jeff leads business development for Kith + Kin, and he’s a dad who’s sent four kids to college. He knows what the college-prep process looks like and has some tips for parents as they help their child make this exciting transition.
Jeff + Family
The beginning of May is an exciting time for college-bound high school seniors. Most know where they want to go and have begun the process of accepting admission for the Fall. As exciting as the time is for everyone, two things begin to dawn on us parents: Our kids are leaving the nest, and we are turning them loose where we have little, if any, insight or oversight.
As you dive into the checklists and requirements for housing, meal plans and course schedules, along with your child’s responsibility for each, this might be the first time you realize that your kids are also now becoming responsible for themselves and their own health. You no longer get to join in the doctor’s visits to describe past ailments, procedures or allergies — all the information you just know and that your child relies on you to know.
Your child’s transition to adulthood and independence is the perfect time for you to transition from the director of their health to a supporting role where they keep you informed about their health.
When I helped my kids get ready to leave the nest, my wife and I knew the kids would be taking more control and responsibility for themselves, so we made sure they had these key pieces of information:
Health history. Include current medications and dosing schedules, prior surgeries or procedures, dietary restrictions, allergies and immunization records.
HIPAA authorization or medical power of attorney. When your child is older than 18, the student health center or other medical facility won’t automatically release medical records to Mom and Dad, but these documents can ensure you’ll be able to access information in the event of an accident or emergency. Be sure to check your state’s laws around power of attorney and health care proxies for the most accurate information.
“Someone should know” information. If your child has a severe allergy or health condition that might need accommodation, think about how to share this info with the school, a roommate or a friend, since you won’t always be there to help. You want to make sure to share information about the condition and what’s needed if a situation arises.
Now that you have these critical pieces of information, where will you keep them? And how can you make sure your child not only has access but also can easily share when needed? Until recently, the answer probably involved a lot of paper, a binder or a manila envelope that you hoped would make it from home to the dorm room and back.
Kith + Kin can replace that tricky system of notebooks, binders and folders — and best of all, you and your child both have access to the same information with real-time updates, so they have the control and you’re still in the loop.
When you sign up and create an account, you can set up profiles for yourself and your child, then add the above information to their profile. Just invite them to their profile as a co-manager, and they’ll have the same control and access as you. (Or, better yet, create their profile without adding all of those details. Invite them and let them enter all the information so they know where it is and why it’s important.)
Does a new job require a copy of their COVID-19 immunization record? They’ll have it in Kith + Kin, where they can download an image or take a screenshot. Do they have a severe nut allergy and want to make sure their roommate has instructions for administering an epi-pen? Keep that information in Kith + Kin and they can share just that information with the roommate, with the option to revoke access at any time. Need to visit the student health center for cold symptoms? They’ll have their health history literally at their fingertips and can easily complete necessary forms and answer questions. They can also take notes from their appointment and share them with you right in the app, so you’re in the loop but they’re still in control.
You’ve done so much to set up your child for success as they take this exciting next step, and their health is an important part of this. You’ve got this. And we’ve got you.