Moms of kids with food allergies seem to have rediscovered the old adage "Necessity is the mother of invention." I was recently contacted by Alison of Allergy Essentials, a mom of two food-allergic kids who obviously faces the same challenges that we do as food-allergic parents. For example--who of us hasn't forgotten to carry the EpiPen, especially when we are first prescribed it? And how about dining out at malls, outdoor venues like zoos or picnic tables at the park? It's not so convenient--not to mention very uneco-friendly--to cart around a roll of paper towels for use as an impromptu placemat to protect your allergic child from allergens on table surfaces.
To that end, Alison has come up with several creative products for use by food-allergic kids and their families. I was able to try out two of her items--the Epissentials Epi Pen carriers and a special Food Allergy Placemat.
The Epi Pen carrier was kind of a revelation because you can attach it to your own body or to your child's body, making it that much harder to forget. And it couldn't be closer to you if you ever need to use it! The Epissentials carriers are available in different sizes or colors, so boys, girls and adults can choose what suits them best.
The Epi Pen is worn in a pocket of the carrier, while the straps adhere to your leg with Velcro. For adults, this is practical for day trips or times when you are already carrying a lot of stuff. Really, if you don't carry a purse or bag (or tend to change them a lot, like me!) then this carrier will work wherever you go.
For kids--especially those who are active and don't generally carry a bag--I find this less restrictive than the "fanny pack." And if they've got long pants on, they are the only ones who know that they are carrying it. Obviously for sports or very active play, kids shouldn't wear it. But for everyday life, it's really easy to use and especially helpful if you tend to forget the EpiPen or have ever left it to overheat (or get overly chilled) in the car.
The Food Allergy Placemats are a straightforward means of protecting the dining surfaces, but with a twist. They also have a pocket for an EpiPen and they each are labeled with the words "Food Allergy." This is great for building awareness, especially if your kids are really young and can't communicate about their allergies themselves. Also, there are different styles to choose from so boys and girls can take their pick. My daughter really liked the sparkly butterfly print on the placemat that was sent to us.
For more products and information, check out the Allergy Essentials web site. I'm always happy to hear about products from moms of kids with food allergies--they've been there and know what we need most! Let me know what you think of these items.
Note: This is my unpaid, personal opinion of the products mentioned above. I received no reimbursement for my review other than sample products.