Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School Safety Issues: Medical ID, Temporary Tattoo ID and Allergy Lunch Bags

Being a huge proponent of children and adults with any kind of medical issue or special needs wearing identification/medical alert tags there have been a few posts on this blog about the issue before. My favorite false argument is that non-speaking students do not need medical ID because someone is always with them, which fails to take into account what could happen if that "someone" is the person who has a medical emergency. How will the non-speaking individual identify him or herself? Or give emergency information for his or her caretaker? Or give a phone number to reach someone else to help? Or assure emergency responders that everything is OK? Trust me no one is going to turn on and set up an AAC device. Medical identification is essential for all non-speaking individuals.

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Beyond this medical identification can save precious minutes at school and other places in a crisis. If all the teacher/aide/school nurse has to do is call 911 and read the info off a bracelet/necklace/shoe tag then the ambulance will get their fast compared to the amount of time it would have taken to locate the emergency forms in the file cabinet/binder/desk drawer. This are minutes that count.

Zoo Bears ID carries some wonderful ID items for infants and children, including special needs children (such as shoe tags and zipper pulls for kiddos who will not wear anything else). Carrying some kind of ID is a must for all adults, period. N'Style ID offers a nice selection for Tweens and Teens. My personal advice is to go through Medic Alert for the toll free hot line paramedics/ERs can use to get your medical records and then print that on stylish or sensory appropriate ID. Yes, it costs more, but it is worth it. (As an insulin pumping diabetic who is allergic to penicillin I personally wear a Medic Alert bracelet with a pretty beaded bracelet for special occasions.)

Safety Tats are personalized, rub on tattoos (write on, stick on also available) sold in packs of 30 for about $20.00). You can order them to indicate I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency), Allergies, Medical Conditions, Special Needs or Original. School field trip sets can be ordered as well. Kids Kontact sells a similar product in Australia. FiddledeeIDs sells alert stickers and temporary tattoos and other medical alert gear. These are a nice options for family trips, day trips, vacations, and similar excursions to unknown and unfamiliar locations.

Another product that can increase safety for some individuals with special needs, especially those with limited or no-speaking skills is a special lunch box which clearly indicates food allergies and/or feeding issues. Allergators and STAT Kids both sell lunch bags which clearly mark lunch bags with a child's allergies. STAT Kids bags can be personalized (i.e. for pureed food, diabetic diet, ketogenic diet, choking precautions or food from home only); they also sell backpacks and fanny packs. Individually customized Health ID Lunch Bag

At the very least ask parents to (or make for your child) a medical alert wallet card for free:


  1. Thanks for this post. As a teacher of students with multiple disabilities who has severe food allergies herself, the topic has been very much on my mind as I get ready to start in a brand new classroom in two weeks.

    Like you, I wear a MedicAlert bracelet, because I think the service is worth the price.

  2. Hi, I was searching what to put on my daughter's medical alert bracelet and I came upon your blog. My daughter is 7 years old and has a genetic disorder, she is developmentally delayed and is not very verbal, but I don't know what I should write on a bracelet. A friend told me to put autistic b/c so many people know that term, but I hate to put that b/c she is not. When I looked at the medical alert site the best description was mentally retarded, but I just do not want to put that on her bracelet. It just seems so derogatory. Anyway, just thought I would see if you had any suggestions? Thank you for your help! Marcia

  3. What about:
    Multiple disabilities
    Limited verbal skills

    I think people would "get" that.


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