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Allergy clothing and accessories

Posted on May 24th, 2007 by Alison Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

allergator.jpgIf you have a child with food allergies, you have probably had the uncomfortable (and scary) experience of people wanting to give your child food. It may have been a teacher at school, another mother or kid at the playground, or a store owner offering a piece of candy. If your child is old enough and well-trained, he will decline the offer, knowing that the food could make him sick, or worse. If your child is young (like mine), you can’t be sure that the words “no thank you, I can’t eat that” will be uttered every time, especially if it’s a sweet treat. It is pretty easy to keep an eye out for a potentially unsafe situation when you are present, but what do you do when your child is on his own, say at daycare, school or camp?

There are a number of companies (most created by moms) out there that are solving that problem with wearable warnings and even fashionable ways to carry around medication. Here are some that I have found (and like!):

  • Kristin over at AllergyMama.com has designed hip tote bags with an easy to access bottom compartment for medications. She also offers customizable belts, hats and bibs that can display allergy warnings. Fun colors and groovy prints make her products cool to wear.
  • Karina, the Gluten Free Goddess, has created a line of sassy t-shirts, sweatshirts, onesies and bibs for the gluten-free crowd, both adults and children. You can go with “Gluten-Free and Fabulous” or for kids “gluten is yucky” or a bunch of other fun sayings. I love her signature “Gluten Free Goddess” cupcake design myself.
  • Allergators, started by Shayr & Jimmy Guthrie, offers cute, stylish clothing for kids and a lunch tote with allergy warnings.
  • Ria at Check My Tag has developed cool and simple clothing with a noticable “Check My Tag – I have a food allergy” label stitched to the outside of the clothing and an inner tag with specific allergy information and instructions. This makes the information readily accessible even to people who may not know the child.
  • Denise and Le Ann at Lauren’s Hope offer a huge selection of medical ID bracelets. You can choose from many different styles (beaded, leather, braided) and then have an engraved medical ID tag that can be unhooked and interchanged with any of their bracelets, allowing you to change styles day to day.

If you have any other allergy-wear that you like, please let me know!

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  1. we wouldnt dream surviving without our KFA tshirts http://www.cafepress.com/kwfa

    we have the kids shirts – several. Each sunday school classroom has a couple to slip on (sizing is wide, and somehow short – perfect as an overshirtif you buy next size up). I have my own long sleeves.
    What I find OUTSTANDING: the warning is a big RED label in the back. DUH… when you serve food to toddlers around a table, the only side of the tshirt you can see is the back!

    My son wears them anytime there is a “risk”. picnic, traveling by plane, parties, any kid gathering. I found that MOST guys will take the warning very seriously (the design being very basic – it becomes nearly “official”) – while some of the gals will start poking at me that I’m a food freak. But nearly all adults will indeed keep an eye on my son and on their plates – and so far we never had an accident due to people gathering (and some hosts thanked me because their guests cleaned up and took their left overs to the trash instead of leaving it on the furniture! 😉 ).

    Also, what I dont like on some “specific food tshirts” is that it leaves the decision to the reader. If you have a tshirt “no gluten” – how can you expect an everybody to withhold plain ham? Nobody knows there is gluten in ham. And so few people know what gluten is anyway. Same for any allergy… not even mentioning multiple food restrictions.

    Last, regarding the medical bracelet. Again, I think it’s cool to have fancy ones for that age when the girl will refuse to wear it. But we should keep in mind that it’s a MEDICAL item – not a paris hilton fancy bracelet. if it can be mistaken into a plain fancy girly bracelet, we miss the point and it could endanger the child. So make sure the point is well understood by the child and discuss options to make the point very clear. (ankle bracelet, medic bracelet as the only bracelet on the right arm, necklace..).
    And for those who still hesitate. A “medical” looking bracelet is viewed as a medical item with official info on it. The day my son started to wear his, people around him switched mind about the seriousness of his allergies – and started to be more thorought instead of “bending to the mum request”.
    And if you are traveling by plane, dont forget to give your medic alert ID number to the airline. If case of problem, doctor at the airport will have access to your medical info without having to get half-infos thru the radio.

    eat safe!

  2. Thanks for posting the link for Lauren’s Hope. I have been looking for something for my kids that wouldn’t be quite so plainly styled, yet had the medical alert symbol. The bracelet’s put out by Lauren’s are quite nice and kid friendly.

    So far, I haven’t needed to have a T-Shirt for my daughter’s allergies. Although the idea is an excellent one…you never know when you will have a problem.

    Thanks again!
    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go go

  3. Sophie,
    Thanks for your input on the clothing and tips about the plane! It’s great that there is such a variety of products out there so everyone can find what is best for their own situation.

    Sophie and Sheltie Girl,
    I agree – I think the bracelets are great for older kids who don’t want to stand out too much from their friends (more than they already do!), or for adults. If there ever was an emergency, it seems like the medical ID is visible enough.

  4. I think the medical bracelet or necklace is a great idea!!

    I currently searching to buy one for myself, I have celiac.

    What do you reccomend getting on the back of the id?


  5. I really like the SafetyStickers available at http://www.safetystickerstore.com. They have the same, basic “Don’t Feed This Kid” message that gets the point across very well and a bright red eye-catching design. I also like that I can carry them and slap them on my kid (front and back!) whenever a danger zone pops up — I am continually amazed at the places that offer up candy. I also use them to mark the few items in our pantry that are off-limits to my daughter. I started this practice when she was too young to read, but have kept it up just because it is so eye-catching and I feel like it eliminates any potential mistakes (esp. by visiting babysitters). I have heard of people using them in the opposite way; by using them to label foods they have approved at day care, etc.

  6. Helen,
    Thanks for the tip!

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