Did you know that allergic disorders rank first among children’s chronic diseases and that as much as 8% of children under the age of 5 have a serious food allergy? The rate of peanut allergies actually doubled between 1997 and 2001.
Parents of children with allergies know that being proactive in allergen avoidance is key to maintaining their child’s health. We also know how easy it is for allergens to be introduced accidentally.
Mister has a peanut allergy. His peanut allergy first presented when he was about 16 months old. We’d had peanut butter crackers, pear slices, and cheese as a bedtime snack, and were getting ready to brush our teeth. Then I noticed that he had a welt on his neck. Because he has reactive skin, I asked my husband if he had fallen while I was out of the room. He said no. I was about to go get some ointment for the welt, thinking it was from bumping into something, when I noted that he had another faint welt just below the collar of his shirt. I pulled his shirt off and saw that he had five big ugly hives on his neck and torso. I grabbed the phone and called the doctor’s exchange, since it was after hours. The nurse on call said that it could be an hour before the doctor returned call. I was concerned that his condition would worsen, so I decided to take him to the emergency room.
The ER that I took him to is less than ten minutes from our home. As I drove, I kept glancing back at him, although I could tell by his lusty cry that his airway was not impaired.
When we arrived at the ER, he was literally covered from head to toe in angry red hives. His hives were so bad, that when I entered the ER, the staff thought that he had been burned. We were rushed back to a treatment room and I rattled off his lengthy medical history as we walked. In the treatment room, he was given IV steroids, an epinephrine injection, and IV antihistamine. Shortly thereafter, we were transferred to the Children’s hospital for overnight monitoring.
Subsequent testing revealed that his allergy was in fact to peanuts. We were instructed to avoid peanuts and to avoid tree nuts, as well, as they are often processed on the same equipment. Of course the allergist recommended an allergy bracelet, but at the time I couldn’t find a kid friendly one. Plus, I thought, he is rarely out of my sight, so what was the worst that could happen?
Recently, during the fellowship hour at our church, Mister was mingling with people as I tended to Sister. I happened to glance up as a well meaning gentleman offered Mister a piece of his bagel. I fairly flew across the few feet that separated our tables and said rather loudly, “he can’t have that.” The poor guy was shocked, to say the least. The bagel that he had offered Mister had nuts in it.
It was then that I realized that the “worst that could happen” could be potentially serious.
About the product…
Then I heard about AllerMates. The AllerMates brand was developed as a fun solution to an important problem. AllerMates produces cool and kid friendly allergy awareness products, including bracelets and necklaces.
AllerMates currently has products for the following allergies…
- Tree Nuts
- Wheat gluten
AllerMates will soon be introducing allergy awareness products for pollen, sesame, penicillin, and latex. They will also be expanding their line of products to include an adjustable multi-allergy bands, t-shirts, lunch bags, epi-pen cases, backpacks, posters, trading cards, and much much more.
I was excited when AllerMates agreed to a review. I specifically requested the AllerMates Peanut Allergy Bracelet. Since the bracelet is cute, I thought I might actually be able to get Mister to wear it.
What I thought…
I received the Peanut Allergy Wristband “P. Nutty” allergy band and dog tag with necklace cord to review. The AllerMates allergy wristband is brightly colored, hypoallergenic, latex free, and has adjustable snaps. We adjusted the bracelet to the smallest setting and tried it on Mister.
As you can see, Mister is quite proud to sport P.Nutty. Mister enjoys wearing his AllerMates bracelet, but does not want to wear it all the time. I do try to get him to wear it when we are out, so that the bracelet can speak for me if I am not right with him. I know that I cannot always be there to be my son’s advocate. But, with the help of AllerMates bright orange P.Nutty bracelet, and due diligence on my part, I pray that we can avoid accidental allergen exposure.
Because Mister is so young, we haven’t let him use the cord necklace and P.Nutty tag yet (it’s not recommended for children under 3). I have, however, examined it and it is also of quality construction. What I love about the tag is the little sad peanut character. It is actually raised from the brushed aluminum tag, and is seriously cute.
What I would change…
The only thing I would change about the AllerMates wrist band would be the ability to put multiple allergies on one band, and it would seem that the powers that be at AllerMates heard my subliminal messages, because they have one in the works.
I am glad to see that a Penicillin allergy bracelet is due to be released, and would love to see other common medication allergies added *i.e. Sulfa, Erythromycin, etc.
It would also be phenomenal if AllerMates developed a line of medical awareness bracelets for conditions like seizures, juvenile diabetes, and so forth. Since Mister is unable to sweat, I would love a fire engine red bracelet with a blue water drop character and something to the effect of “Unable to Sweat” or “Heat Intolerant” as the wording.
I can’t wait for the lunch bags to be available, as I will definitely be adding that to my Mommy Must Haves!
How I rate it…
Lady V dZine rates AllerMates products 5 out of 5 hearts.
Where you can buy it…
Lady V dZine
Disclosure- AllerMates generously provided me with an AllerMates wristband, necklace cord, and tag to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are 100% my own and are based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.