If your child’s allergy to a specific food, several foods, a drug or bee sting is life threatening, your doctor will probably suggest that your child wear a MedicAlert® bracelet. In other words, your child is at risk for anaphylaxis.
We have found that the bracelet creates a conversation that allows people to ask, “Why do you wear that bracelet?” My son then gets practice acknowledging what his allergies are in conversation. People who are meeting him for the first time sometimes share stories about someone else they know who has severe allergies. They generally remember his allergies when they meet him again, and that is the intent of the bracelet.
Our purpose for the bracelet is to let everyone know about his severe allergies. If people are aware of it, there is less chance for an offending food to enter his world. When my son has gone to the Emergency Room (for stitches, for example), our experience is that the nurses and doctors immediately check the MedicAlert bracelet.
Should your child be anywhere without you and have a reaction, any person can read the bracelet and pass this information on to a 911 operator. Also, there is a 1-800 number on the bracelet for people to contact MedicAlert and find out the complete medical information on your child. Your child should have an EpiPen® with them, in this case, and hopefully be able to self-administer it or be with someone who can administer it for them.
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The bracelets can be ordered from MedicAlert at appropriate sizes to fit your child’s wrist. We have the bracelet on my son’s non-dominant hand. We ordered the stainless steel model because it is more durable. I have heard of children having reactions to stainless steel in the bracelet itself. The bracelet does come in silver and gold also if you’re willing to pay a higher price for it. There are also other types of wrist bands available on the MedicAlert site.
There are necklaces available also. For a child, we felt the risk of catching a necklace on a piece of playground equipment was too dangerous. We therefore opted for the bracelet.
Should the red on the MedicAlert emblem wear off, they will replace the bracelet. Our son had this happen after a summer in the swimming pool. It is possible for your child to lose the bracelet, although this is unlikely with the clasp. My son has lost his, however! In that case, a new bracelet will need to be purchased.
If you find out your child has more allergies than what was originally indicated on the bracelet, you can order a new bracelet (at a charge). We have only my son’s life threatening allergies listed on the bracelet because of a small amount of space.