Sunday, November 22, 2009

Food allergies again...and a medical alert bracelet

Obviously, food allergies are a major part of my life. As my son gets older and begins to spend more time away from me, my angst has increased. In many ways, I am a laid back parent. I believe in letting my child explore his world, and once it isn't dangerous he pretty much has free reign. A friend of mine came to visit once, and my son was playing outside. He picked up the dirt to put it in his mouth, and she went into hysterics. Amazed by my calm, offhand reaction she asked me why I didn't seem to care if he ate the dirt. In his case, the amount of dirt he actually gets into his mouth won't kill him. And I thought that he would most likely eat it, decide it's nasty and not eat it again. And I was correct. After a few attempts, he stopped putting dirt in his mouth. But here is the other, perhaps more important reason that I'm laid back. I have bigger fish to fry. I am vigilant about what he eats and cross contamination, the type of soap and lotion he uses, and making sure he stays safe. A little dirt won't kill him, a little milk might. I think I would have been a laid back type of parent anyway, but dealing with food allergies has heightened that personality trait. There is enough stress in his life, and mine, already, why add to that stress unnecessarily?

So, with allergies being important and life threatening and my angst ever increasing, I've decided to get my son a medical alert bracelet. It is a potentially life saving measure, and one that will help me to be a little calmer when he is away from me. I spent many hours scouring the web, trying to find a bracelet that is suitable for a toddler and within my price range. What I thought would be an easy task was actually quite frustrating. The ones I like seemed to be in other countries, and the cost of international shipping equal to or more than the cost of the actual bracelet. Or the ones in my price range were too ugly, too girly or simply inappropriate for a toddler. I think I've finally decided on a sportsband, and I will post pictures and a review once we receive it. I do like those rubber/silicone wristbands that state "Food Allergies" in bold letters. They might help keep all of the well meaning strangers that are continually trying to feed my son at bay. And I also think they would be good when he is in a new environment, to remind people of his allergies. But, they would not be helpful in an emergency, so for now I'll stick to my neon orange sign and get a more traditional bracelet. I might still get one of those wristbands though, as an additional protection. That or a T-shirt that says "Don't Feed Me! You could kill me!" Okay, maybe that's a bit much. I guess "Don't Feed Me! I have food allergies" would suffice. If you see one in a 2T feel free to send it my way!

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