Thursday, 24 July 2014

Product Review: Allermates Allergy Alert Products for Children

According to Allergy UK, 4 in 10 UK school children have an allergic condition. Often, parents find protecting their child from allergens during their infant and toddler years quite manageable but difficulties can arise once they attend school or start going to friends' houses. It can be a worrying time for parents. What happens if people aren't aware of the child's allergens? The child may not be old enough to explain their allergies themselves. Parents need to know that their child is safe and that people are aware of the child's medical situation. 

Mum Iris Shamus developed a brand of allergy alert products after her own child developed several allergies and another child at her son's school had a severe allergic reaction. She identified there was a gap in the market for child friendly allergy alert products and founded the company AllerMates. 

Although Little One doesn't appear to have any allergies yet, as a primary school teacher I have lots of first hand experience of working with children with allergies, some of whom with severe multiple allergies. Through my work as a teacher, I first became aware of the AllerMates wristbands through a child I taught (even before I was kindly sent these samples to review). I noticed they were wearing a brightly coloured, on-trend wristband which stated he had a nut allergy. I thought to myself "What a fantastic idea, I wonder who invented that!". 

AllerMates have a number of developed a number of different safety and allergy alert products but I am going to talk about four of them below.

Allermates and MediMates Wristbands
The company have created a set of brightly coloured adjustable wristbands which are designed to be noticed on a child's wrist. Each wristband features a cartoon character which relates to the allergy (for example P. Nutty for the peanut allergy wristband). They are latex free and designed to fit children from age 2 upwards. Not only do they help inform and remind people of the child's allergy, they also help younger children recognise their own allergy. There is a wide choice of wristbands available, covering a wide variety of allergies and medical conditions including peanut, diabetes, asthma, cat and dairy. They retail at around £4.95 each in the UK. 
 Two of the AllerMates wristbands. The Gluten free health alert wristband features the character Professor Wheatley and the Peanut allergy one features P. Nutty. 

Purple "I have food allergies" reusable snack bag
This snack bag is useful for children to use who carry their own allergen-free snacks to school or to parties/trips out. It's slim and measures just over 6 inches by 6 inches so it's super light and easy to carry around. The design is great because on the one hand it clearly states that the user has an allergy but on the other hand the fun design makes it child-friendly so it doesn't make it look overtly medical. There is a label on the outside where you can write the child's name too. 

Purple "I have food allergies" lunch bag 
A simple lunch bag which features the AllerMates cartoon characters on the front.When dealing with food allergies, the lunch bag is potentially one of the most important products available. There is a card which is stored in the outside pocket where you can state the nature of the allergy and provide medical emergency info on the back. The bag measure 7.5"H x 10" W x 3" D. It is also available in blue and retails at around £15.95 in the UK. While this would seem pricey for a regular lunch bag, I think this is reasonable as it is also provising a tool for allergy identification. 

Allergy Medicine Case
 The Allermates allergy medicine case is designed to hold your child's medication and can hold 2 EpiPen auto injectors and an inhaler. It is vital that this medication is kept at the right temperature so the insulated design keeps medication within the required temperature ranges. The case also includes a useful belt so it can be worn securely around the waist. The prospect of having to administer EpiPen medication can be daunting for many, including me, and I think the addition of the emergency user guide for an EpiPen is a fantastic idea. The allergy medicine case retails at £14.95 in the UK. 

Food Package Allergy Alert Labels
These stickers are designed to be stuck onto food products which may contain allergens or products which are not safe for the child. Useful for quickly identifying unsafe food items. A simple yet practical idea. There are 24 stickers in each pack. 

Overall, having had experience of children with severe allergies through my work as a teacher, I think these products are a fantastic solution to enable allergies to be identified in a fun and straightforward way. While the parents of children with allergies are usually very well versed in their child's needs, these products ensure other care givers such as teachers, childminders and sports leaders are able to ensure the child's needs are met while under their care. This in turn is likely to put the parent's mind at ease. 

For more information about these products, visit the AllerMates website.

*I was sent these products for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or sponsored to write this post.

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