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The ICE Sticker: Why You & Your Family Members Need One

Over 300 million cell phone users exist solely in the United States, and this figure is expected to grow in the coming years. Back in 2006, the CDC reported that 1.5 million emergency room patients could not give out contact information to medical personnel because they were incapacitated due to their injuries. Countless youngsters and adults leave home every day without emergency contact information and a means of identifying them if something bad were to happen. Nonetheless, all these people possess a cell phone.

A worldwide campaign asking people to add an In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact to their cell phone began in the UK in 2005 and has spread to the United States. Entering an ICE number to your phone is a smart way of providing emergency or medical personnel with important contact information in case of an emergency. This simple idea was the brainchild of a British paramedic, Bob Brotchie, who understood the need for speed in contacting next of kin during emergency situations.

The following information is a simple way of keeping your loved ones informed about what happens to you in the event of an emergency:

  • First open your cell phone's address book and enter the word ICE  with the name of a responsible emergency contact into your speed dial and contacts book. Place a dash (-) in front of the word ICE so your ICE contact appears at the very top top of your contacts list. In addition, put the name of your designated ICE contact after the word ICE.
  • Inform your ICE contact that you have selected him/her as your designated contact and give him/her the necessary information that can influence your treatment. Also let this person know all current medications you are on (including supplements), your allergies (to medications and foods), and your doctors (include the names and phone numbers).
  • Inform family members and friends of what you have done and encourage them to do the same.
  • Place an ICE Sticker on the back of your phone to let others you have an ICE contact in your phone. You can get an ice stick at
  • Include a medical card in your wallet in case your ICE contact is unreachable during the emergency.
The Advantages of ICE

An ICE contact can expedite the time it takes to request permission and/or treat you for an injury. An unnecessary delay in treatment could result in an aggravation of your condition. Moreover, medical/emergency personnel may inquire about your medical information, which might help treat you or even save your life. Because cell phones are so ubiquitous these days, and thanks to the ongoing global ICE campaign, medical personnel will also ask (or at times search) whether you are carrying a cell phone so they can make that vital call to your ICE contact. Therefore, try your utmost to always have your cell phone on you.


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