Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Are Allergy Tattoos a good idea?

My kindergartner has to carry an epi-pen with him at all times due to a bee allergy. (I am so glad the bees are dying or going south or whatever they do for the winter) I have thought about getting him a temporary allergy tattoo when he travels or while he's in school. It's scary to think someone might not know what to do if he goes into anaphylactic shock. I can't imagine a food allergy. That would be even more stressful. If an allergy tattoo helps, I am all for it!

FROM CBC: With more and more kids developing an allergy to peanuts, One mother in Canada has found an original way to alert people about her daughter's allergy. At five years old, most of these little girls are heading to kindergarten this year. It's the first time many of them will be at school for the whole day. A new stress for any parent, but especially if your child has an deadly allergy.

Tara Wilkie/ Wellesley's Mother"My daughter Wellesley has a severe peanut allergy and as she gets older she does things more independently so I was feeling really anxious that she was on her own and could be exposed to peanuts."

So Wilkie created these semi-permanent tattoos to protect her daughter. They're resistant to water but rub off with baby oil.

"They're for my peanut allergy so I won't have peanuts at a birthday or at school." Like many children with a severe allergy, Wellesley also wears a medic-alert bracelet. But Wilkie felt many people don't associate them with food allergies.

Tara Wilkie/ Wellesley's Mother "Some people made assumptions it was for medical, penicillin or something like that. I just needing something visual, to visually alert people. One allergist we spoke to wasn't sold on the idea. He says the tattoos should not be a replacement for the medic alert bracelet. But the reaction from Montrealers was mixed.

"No it's not a good idea, it's a very bad idea. As a matter of fact, tattoos are bad altogether and mostly for kids."

"I think it's a good idea. Cause it's clear we know what it's all about."
Tara Wilkie/ Wellesley's Mother "It's been a really positive response, people seem to be excited about them and feel the same way that I do. Just any extra bit of awareness it what you need to protect your child."

And there's a lot of children who need protection. Twice as many kids have peanut allergies than just a few decades ago. So Wilkie's tattoos could be a sign of more things to come.

Are allergy tattoos a good idea? Does your child have an allergy? What about someone in their class?

Here's the safety tat website. It seems to be the most popular.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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