Medical Alerts with Yellow Dot Kits for Seniors

Medical Alerts with Yellow Dot Kits for Seniors

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 30, 2019


The yellow dot kit is a nationwide program that is free. It automatically alerts first responders to medical conditions. A small yellow dot is affixed to the driver’s side rear window of a car. First responders who view the dot automatically know that crucial medical information can be found in the auto’s glove box.


The name of the yellow dot kit refers to the time frame that first responders consider the golden hour after an accident or medical emergency occurs. The golden hour is the crucial hour when often life-saving medical attention is implemented and the greatest chance of saving someone occurs. During such a frantic time, a small yellow dot lets the first responders know that there is additional medical information that they need to look over before making a crucial medical decision.

The yellow dot kit comes with a yellow dot sticker and cards to fill out for anyone who regularly rides in the vehicle. You will also want to include a photo with each card, so the first responder can quickly identify which card belongs to which person. The yellow dot was originally used only in autos, but nowadays the yellow dot kit can also be used at home.

You simply place the yellow dot beside your front door. Then, fill out the medical alert card, place it in a plastic Ziploc bag, and put the bag in the freezer. All first responders who see the yellow dot on a door will check the freezer for important medical information.

Advantages of Yellow Dot Kits for Seniors
  • If you are in an accident or experience a medical emergency and you cannot speak for yourself to first responders, then they will immediately know to check the glove box for crucial medical information if they see a yellow dot on the vehicle's windshield, or the freezer if they see a yellow dot by your front door.
  • The first hour after an accident or medical emergency is crucial. It can be the time when life and death are decided based on the care rendered by emergency personnel. Knowing a person’s full medical history and what medications they are currently taking is critical to render life-saving care quickly and efficiently.
  • The yellow dot kit does not just cover the driver or homeowner, but anyone who frequently rides in the vehicle or lives at the residence.
  • The entire yellow dot kit is free and there is no monthly fee.
Disadvantages of Yellow Dot Kits for Seniors
  • If the auto is severely damaged during a bad automobile accident, the first responders may not see the yellow dot.
  • The yellow dot sticker can fall off the window or surface, and the senior may not notice the missing symbol.
  • Some seniors may not regularly update their medical history cards with new medications or other conditions, so the card can become outdated.
  • Not all states have implemented the yellow dot program
Yellow Dot Kits for Seniors Enhancements
  • The yellow dot kit comes with a medical history card, and you attach a photo to the information so the first responder can quickly identify you. However, some individuals have more medical conditions and medications than can possibly fit on the small card. In such situations, you can attach additional pages with your medical information to the card and photo so emergency workers have your full health history.
  • You can purchase larger yellow dots that are more noticeable in the event of an emergency.
Cost Considerations Associated with the Yellow Dot Kit

The yellow dot kit is completely free. You can receive a free kit from numerous sources such as the Department of Safety in many states. Senior organizations also often offer the kits. There is no monthly fee associated with possessing the yellow dot kit.

The only cost associated with the yellow dot kit is the photo that you need to attach to the medical history information card. Such photos can be purchased at a wide array of places such as most department stores or office supply locations. Usually, any place that takes passport photos will provide you with a photo for under $10. You can also have a photo developed from your smartphone or camera.

Additional Considerations for the Yellow Dot Kit

There is no denying that the yellow dot kit can save lives. It makes the job of first responders easier and far more efficient because they will quickly and efficiently know your most pertinent medical history, so they can render care without hesitation. Anyone can participate in the yellow dot program, but it was initially geared toward seniors or individuals with disabilities.

The yellow dot kit health card should be updated yearly with the person's name, photo, emergency contacts, medical information, hospital preference and primary care physician. It is imperative that you list all medications, both prescription and non-prescription, that you may be taking.

Unfortunately, not all states or countries participate in the program. However, with the help of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and many other government officials, the program is taking shape across the nation.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.