It's the dawn of a new school year and most parents are packing lunches and stuffing their kids' book bags with supplies. But some parents have far more serious concerns at the start of the school year - such as how to make sure their child with food allergies stays safe. Some parents are praising a new line of temporary tattoos that "labels" kids and identifies their allergies, while others warn that these labels may draw unwanted attention for kids at school.
In the past year, there have been several tragic stories in the news of children dying from food allergies either at school or at summer camp. For the parent of a child with allergies it is their worst nightmare. To prevent such tragedies. most parents notify the school about their child's condition and meet with teachers and school nurses to go over a medical plan in case of emergency. But with the extra layer of craziness that accompanies the beginning of the school year, many parents are looking for an extra layer of assurance that their child's allergies won't get overlooked. Enter Safety Tats, the temporary tattoos for kids that kids can wear as a reminder to teachers, aides, cafeteria staff, school nurses, and every one else to be on the lookout for potential allergens.
Safety Tats were created by mom-of-three Michele Welsh after Welsh found herself using a ballpoint pen to nervously scrawl her cell phone number on her kids’ arms at a crowded amusement park. She knew there had to be a better way. The original line of Safety Tats are "If Lost, Please Call..." labels that kids can wear in such situations. According to the parents that have used them, the best part about them is that they stay on despite heat, sweat, sunscreen, or even swimming. So parents can feel secure in knowing that if their kids get separated from them, help can be identified quickly.
But Welsh soon realized that her Safety Tats could help other parents, too—like her sister-in-law, whose son has a fatal peanut allergy. When she created the tattoos and he wore one on a school field trip, the benefit was immediate. The boy's tattoo alerted a food server who double checked the ingredients in the kids' meals and realized that they contained peanut oil.
Still, experts worry that these kind of labels might be fodder for bullies and draw unwanted attention for kids with allergies. But, as Welsh noted in a recent interview with Yahoo! Shine: "If I had to choose fatal exposure over being harassed by kids, I would choose safety as my No. 1 concern."
What do you think? Would you use a temporary tattoo to notify others of your child's food allergies?
Also on MNN:
- 8 most common food allergies: What's on your plate?
- What are food allergy symptoms?
- Boy with extreme food allergies can only eat 7 foods