Recently a few of our donors have inquired about our policy for bringing children when you donate. Our priority is to ensure the safety of our donors and to clear up any confusion the following letter outlines our official policy for children.
March 18th, 2019
Re: Unattended Child(ren) Policy, Blood Bank of Alaska,
I would like to start this letter by communicating to you how much we at the Blood Bank of Alaska appreciate your blood and platelet donation. Your commitment to saving lives through your donation are appreciated, and very important to the safety and well-being of Alaska’s healthcare infrastructure. Thank you!
I write to ask for your indulgence and understanding as regards an issue that concerns us greatly at Blood Bank of Alaska. Unattended children, under the age of 12. Again, our concerns are for the safety of children brought to the blood bank by parents presenting to donate.
We understand how challenging it is finding time to spend for yourself when you have kids. I am a father of four grown sons, and look back fondly at their childhood. I also remember the challenges of small children, and the time it took to facilitate trips to the store, church, and the local pizza parlor. I get it, and the staff of Blood Bank of Alaska get it too. It is tough coordinating any logistics when small ones are involved.
However, our donor safety policy strictly prohibits unsupervised children in the blood bank at any of our locations across the State of Alaska. This is for practical reasons. 1) We cannot track which particular small child belongs to which family, parent or guardian. 2) We are unable to supervise your child and assure their safety. This creates a major liability issue for the Blood Bank of Alaska, its staff, and is a risk that frankly, our insurance company does not like. 3) If we have to evacuate the building quickly due to an emergency situation, your child/children could be placed in a risky position due to there being no parental oversight. 4) Your child has an unforeseen medical emergency, we do not know your child, or their health history/needs, what do we do? And 5) In the off chance of a donor reaction, if you have to be evacuated, what do we do with your young child or children? Again, at the end of the day, it is about your child’s safety, and your peace of mind. It is only because we sincerely care for you and your children that we even broach this topic.
In the event you must bring a young child into one of the Blood Bank of Alaska locations, we ask that you please provide proper supervision for them in the form of an additional caretaker for the children that is at least 15 years old.
We also ask that you please assist us in assuring young children in carriers/strollers are not placed near the collection service areas, or held in the lap while we are trying to collect your donation. This too is a safety issue for both you, and your child.
Older children, (12+) capable of sitting quietly and unsupervised, are invited to wait in the provided seating area located in the Canteen area. While this policy helps ensure that all guests and donors enjoy a relaxing blood/platelet donation experience, it was created with your child’s safety in mind.
Our blood bank locations are not child-proof. Sharp instruments, carts, machines, and a busy, active and congested area make for a potentially dangerous environment for young children. Blood Bank of Alaska staff are dedicated to providing each of our dedicated donors with the highest level of service possible. But there are not certified to care or supervise unattended children.
We greatly appreciate your compliance, understanding and patience with our child safety policy. We hope we have not offended anyone, it is not our intent. We do truly only want the safety of both you and your child/children. We thank you for your support, dedication and generosity. Through your donation, together, we save lives each day.
Chief Executive Officer