January 29th, 2009

Rules for Day Cares

Okay, so, I'm working on a novel and one character, Ginevra, owns and operates a daycare. One of the parents is a single mother named Sophie. Sophie has a doctor's appointment early in the morning and finds out that it's very serious and she has to go to the hospital and have surgery pronto.

Se wants her brother to pick up her daughter in the evening. Considering that she didn't know she would be unable to pick up her daughter, how would she get Ginevra to allow her brother to pick up her daughter?

All I've found in my research is a standard "in case of emergency, please contact" form and a list of people who are permitted to pick up said child.

Would it be enough for Sophie to call Ginevra and say "Hey, I'm in the hospital, they're going to be prepping me for surgery, my brother's going to be picking up my daughter" or is there something more complicated?

Googled: relative picking up from daycare procedure, daycare protocol

American civil war - casualties' effects

I've done various searches (variations on the theme of "American civil war" plus "burial", "mass grave", "casualties" "clothes" and so on.

My setting is a confederate hospital (actually an old farmhouse which has been requisitioned as a hospital) near Tupelo, Lee County, in 1864. The field out back is being used as a grave for those who die in the hospital (or are dead on arrival). A man is brought in with a stomach wound; the doctors and nurses know it will be fatal (stomach wounds at that time always were), so they dope him up and leave him to die while they treat a couple of others who may survive their wounds. He duly dies.
Now what? Would they just carry him out, sling him in the pit, and add some lime or soil? Would there be any sort of "laying out" or ceremony at all? Would he be buried in the clothes he came in in, or, given that uniforms were in short supply, would he be stripped of anything useful first?

And as a bonus question, does anyone happen to know what tuberculosis actually feels like? I know what the symptoms are, from a medical point of view, but a first-hand description would be useful!

Refrigerators in London in 1951

Writing a short story for another LJ community, set in urban London in 1951. Most of the action takes place in an upper-middle class home and while I've double and triple-checked most of my other details to solidify accuracy, I can't seem to pin down whether or not refrigerators were common enough in England during for the story's family to have one. Wikipedia makes it seem like the answer's no but other sites are saying maybe and I just know (despite being a minor detail) that it's going to bother me until I've got a surer answer.

Is there a refrigerator historian in the house? XD