Nearly 500,000 children walk out the door each day wearing a laminated microchip that will give them a foot up in a medical emergency, reports Children's magazine.

The chip, called "CritiKid," is attached to a child's shoe through a Velcro strap or shoelace. Placed on the chip are health records and a medical release form signed by parents that could save lives in an emergency.Most of the tags have been distributed through local hospitals, where medical personnel can read the chips. If you'd like a "CritiKid" shoe tag for your child, call your area hospital first to find out if they distribute the tags.

If your hospital personnel are not aware of the tags, it might be a good idea to let them know.

You can purchase the tags directly for $10.60 (including postage and handling) from CritiCard Inc., 445 W. Jackson, Centennial Plaza, Naperville, IL 60540. Illinois residents can call 312-357-6886. Out of state residents can call toll-free 800-331-8801.

Families receive two tags, which are updated annually. Lost tags cost 50 cents to replace.