People love allergy bracelets for their kids. I don’t. I think they do far more harm than good.
But first, what is it? It’s a bracelet that your child wears that lists all their allergens so that adults who interact with them will be aware of what can trigger a reaction. (For those who don’t know… here is an example: Medical Jewelry Allergy ID Bracelet) These bracelets are lauded as one of the most important safety measures for children. Moms who get them sing their praises and express boundless relief that their child has the bracelet.
I can’t stand them.
- First, our children should be responsible for their own allergens and advocate for themselves. Bracelets just teaches dependance.
- Second, we want our children to LIVE life. Do we really want our children to feel like they are a patient in a hospital 24/7. They must have the allergy bracelet, that every adult who interacts with them must check. After all, they are their allergen before they are a person.
- Third, what ever happened to privacy rights? They exist for a reason. Do we really want to advertise to the world every medical issue our child has…certainly their life as a spy can now be put to rest. Everyone knows their weakness. (okay, maybe we don’t want them fighting crime … after all, they will be out of our bubble of safety.) The point, your child’s medical information should be private.
From a child’s perspective, what gives a false sense of security to a parent, gives the child a real sense of weakness. It is a continuous reminder even when our children are not eating that they have a weakness and everyone must be on high alert for them. We shouldn’t treat our children’s allergies as a weakness. It is part of who they are. People have dietary restrictions. People have physical restrictions. Someone with an allergy is just another person- they are not weak and incapable of protecting themselves. But the bracelet is a constant reminder to the contrary.
Now, I am not against letting schools and caretakers know what a child’s allergy is. I am not against having inconspicuously a list of allergens in a wallet or on phones as a child grows older or even attaching a list of allergens under a carseat for young children, in the event an accident makes everyone incompetent. I’m not against some form of ID for mentally incapacitated individuals who can’t advocate for themselves. I’m also not against adults choosing to wear an allergy bracelet.
But, advertising to the world and even more importantly to our young healthy children, at every waking moment, that here comes an allergic child… is not my idea of raising a well rounded and strong individual. We need to balance the emotional and psychological well being of our growing children along with their physical well being. Allergy Bracelets? They are more for the parent than the child. I’m dead set against them. What am I missing?