15 million Americans have food allergies, including 6 million children. A life-threatening food allergy sends someone to the hospital every three minutes — and kids are at the highest risk. You can’t always be with them, so how do you keep them safe when they’re eating lunch in the school cafeteria, grazing on snacks at a playdate, or enjoying treats at a friend’s birthday party? Some safety precautions, like communicating with school staff and making sure an EpiPen is always on hand are crucial. But did you know there is a whole cottage industry forming around helping kids with Allergies? Here are five products we found that are designed to help keep your kids protected from allergens.
The AllerMates multi-allergy alert wristband is brightly colored to easily attract the attention of your child’s caregiver, teacher, or babysitter. The band can hold up to six AllerMates charms, which each feature a fun cartoon character advertising a specific allergy or health concern. Created by the mom of a child with multiple allergies, the charms can be switched out if your child develops a new allergy or grows out of their current allergy. The multi-pack includes charms for asthma and the most common food allergens — dairy, eggs, wheat, peanut, and nut — and additional charms are available. The wristband is waterproof, adjustable, and made of a comfortable latex- and BPA-free material.
Wearable trackers offer ultimate peace of mind for parents. A GPS-tracking watch, bracelet, or band will allow you to keep a digital eye on your child no matter where they are. Though a wearable won’t send you a notification when your child is around triggering food, you can see where your child is — whether that’s a new friend’s home where the mom may not be aware of your child’s gluten intolerance or an ice cream parlor with grandparents who need to be reminded of your child’s milk sensitivity. Many wearables allow you and your child to communicate via text message, which means you can remind them to tell the adult they’re with about their allergy, and they can alert you if they need help.
Currently in preorder, the AllerGuarder wristband uses a Bluetooth beacon to notify your child’s guardians and caregivers of their allergies to help reduce the risk of accidental exposure. Once users download the AllerGuarder app, they will be cautioned on their smartphone or tablet when an allergy-affected child is present. You can set up your AllerGuarder profile to keep your child’s information private from strangers, merely alerting users that a child with a specific allergy is in the area. The app also allows you to input key information about your child, like emergency contact information in case of an accident, and choose trusted contacts to share this information with.
Another product invented by a mom, SafetyTats are eye-catching temporary tattoo stickers that stamp your child’s allergies and health concerns right on their skin. A major cosmetic upgrade from traditional medical bracelets, the brightly colored tattoos advertise nut allergies, bee sting allergies, medical alerts, or general food allergies and include space for you to write in your child’s specific medical needs or your contact information in case of emergency. The hypoallergenic tattoos can last up to several days — making them a great option for sleepovers, field trips, or summer camps — and are easily removed with baby oil.
Kids aren’t always careful about their allergies — many can’t read nutrition labels on products, while others may not be as vigilant about sticking to their special diet as you are. The fun characters on the AllerMates Alert Stickers immediately advertise “I Have Food Allergies” in bright colors to remind your child and their guardians to be vigilant. The 2-inch round stickers include the option to mark an allergy for nuts, shellfish, dairy, peanut, soy, wheat/gluten, or egg, as well as a space to write in another allergy. The uses are various: stick them on your child’s lunchbox so the lunch aide remembers to seat them in the peanut-free zone at school, stick them on the off-limit products at home, or stick one on your child’s shirt before a field trip.
While some people may outgrow their allergies, there is no cure for food allergies. You can’t always be there to inform every teacher, babysitter, classmate, camp counselor, and parent of your child’s allergy, but using these allergy safety products can help keep your child safe and give you peace of mind.
Written by Alyssa Baker
Alyssa Baker is a writer and a resident security expert for the SafeWise team. She enjoys writing about home automation and home security gadgets, and drinks a lot of coffee in her spare time. Learn more