When your child turns 18, it's time to get them to execute a Health Care Power of Attorney.
Why? Because technically a school or medical facility may not be able to inform you if your college aged child has been hosptialized. Of course, if your child is conscious and speaking, your child can have the staff notify you.
Health Care Power of Attorneys are easy enough to complete. Put this on your college or 18 year birthday preparation list. Once executed, send a copy with your child to school to put in his admissions-registration information.