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Medical alert options: tattoo?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by ravens, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. ravens

    ravens New Member

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    We are trying to figure out with our 10 year old son how to show his medical alert information. He says he does not mind showing a medical alert, but he gets bothered by wearing a bracelts, necklace, or anklet. He says it bothers his skin and he always ends up taking it off. We got some temporary tattoos for him with the alert symbol that say "diabetes." We are wondering if anyone, including kids or teens, have gotten a permanent medical ID tattoo? It would be a big step to get a permanent tattoo, but then, it seems like it would make it easier, knowing he always has it on. Someone suggested a small tattoo on the inside of his wrist. He says he is all for it, but at age 10 we are not certain it's a decision he's fully capable of making. Any thoughts on pros and cons? Anyone who's actually done it?
     
  2. Hollyb

    Hollyb Approved members

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    My concern would be whether people would recognize it. That medic alert tag is so well-known now, but you'd have to really look to recognize a tatoo (or make it really big). I'm thinking, you know, a sort of worst-case scenario: 19-year-old at a party or dark bar passes out...

    Has he tried the sports band Velcro type? My 13-year-old doesn't mind wearing it, but maybe his skin is not as sensitive. Or... another possiblity would be to attach it to his belt-loop. I often wear my watch that way, because I hate the feel of a watch on my wrist. I guess the question is would people look there.
     
  3. Boo

    Boo Approved members

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    I just bought my 10 year old son one of those rubber bracelets that are quite popular these days. He doesn't seem to mind it as much as the traditional metal bracelets, and he is much more willing to wear it as it doesn't scream out that he is different. I only hope that it would be noticed in an emergency! I found it at www.diabeticwristbands.com I was just thinking about medical alert tattoos the other day. Though it wouldn't be my personal choice, I can see the positive aspects of it. I think it is great that he is in favor of it, my son would be mortified to have such a permanent advertisement. I say whatever works for you (and him), he just seems a bit young still!
     
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    1. I would never "brand" a child with a tattoo that says diabetes or diabetic.

    2. I hope the law would preclude one from having a 10 year from getting a tattoo

    I think the rubber bracelet would be ignored - it could be interpreted as simply supporting someone's cause.
     
  5. cydnimom

    cydnimom Approved members

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    I would never tattoo any medical alert anywhere. Its not everyones business and I can see being discriminated against if some people saw it. At least with a bracelet, necklace you have the option of removing it. Does he carry any ID or a backpack with his stuff in it, or a wastepack. My son has a wastepack on him at all times and although he is young and there will be some point where he won't have it on like sports, but at any of those sporting events there will be at least one person there who knows (either coach, teacher or me). If he was to go out on his own in the future (because he's only 5) he will not be allowed out of the house without some form of sugar, so he will have to carry it in something. That something will also have a medical alert tag that can be hooked on. I'm thinking those glucose tab cases that hold four tabs have a keyring on it, the ID can be attached to that.

    Quite often in an accident medical personnel do not automatically check for medical alerts, but they have a better chance of coming across it when wearing it on your left wrist because quite often they check for pulse there or neck. Once the person is taken to hospital they (police and medical) look through everything for ID, so it may be found at some point in time whatever it is.
     
  6. rileysdteam

    rileysdteam Approved members

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    I was just recently talking with a paramedic about diabetic emergency calls and the frequency with which they happen, as he was telling me some of the stories he mentioned one particular call. The man that the paramedics where treating had a tattoo on his wrist saying " diabetes mellitus" the paramedic mentioned that in his opinion he thought it was a really good idea because it is there for everyone to see, and you can't forget to put it on. However it was a grown man with the tattoo.
     
  7. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

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    I have two tattoos and while it wasn't really painful for me, I can't imagine letting my 9 daughter getting one! It seems to me it's like a brand! A permanant reminder that he has diabetes?! No respectable, legal tattoo parlor would let a 10 year old get a tattoo. There's a reason why they don't allow it till 18 or 16 with parental consent.

    There are so many options for diabetes or medical alert icons. I would just start looking and doing a search. There are sports bands, shoe, backpack tags, ect that would be a much better option then a tattoo.
     
  8. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    Medical Tattoo

    Most states do not allow anyone under the age of 18 to be tattooed by a licensed parlor. Would you really want to brand your child? At this point, my child has no problems with letting people know of her condition, but later in life, I can see her keeping it to herself. A tattoo will bring attention to a person, but will it be the right kind? Would they be descriminated against? My main concern is that tattoos are so common that an emergency id tattoo may not be easily recognized. I would avoid the rubber bracelets as they are too common, and can easily be overlooked. Encourage your child to pick out several different id's that they like, and find one that's most comfortable. Unfortunately, this may be a bit of a financial investment, but there are many great companies out there offering a wide range of choices. We use a shoe tag and zipper pull. When not wearing either of those, we have a velcro or sports brand bracelet to choose from. In addition, DARE offers wallet sized id cards that you can list all emergency info. They only cost about $5 and many times, Walmart does a safety day and you can get it for free. If you go into any search engine and type in kids id bracelets, you'll be floored at all the options.
     
  9. Stacey Nagel

    Stacey Nagel Approved members

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    In our house there is no option. Jesse wears his medical alert bracelet 24/7.
    Its our law....
    Stacey
     
  10. ravens

    ravens New Member

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    You're right: we found out we can't even consider a tattoo until he is in his late teens, by law. We appreciate all the suggestions. We will keep trying for something that he will keep on all the time. We want him to wear a medical ID 24/7, but it is not an easy law to enforce. And we are most worried about him taking it off when he is away from us, especially as he gets older. I guess the trick is for him to eventually take responsibility for it, as we cannot always be there. Of course there are so many other things to worry about when he is not with us - it's just that the meeical ID seems like some degree of safety net, in case all else goes wrong.
     
  11. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

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    I would point out to him that if he can't take responsibility for wearing a med alert tag, then how will you be able to trust him to take care of his diabetes needs if he is away from you, ie spending the night at a friends.

    Of all aspects of D, the med alert should be the least concern. If he gets used to wearing it, he will probably forget its even there.

    I know that they are pretty stubborn at this age, my daughter can be quite stubborn about things too. :eek:
     
  12. ruthdmitchell

    ruthdmitchell New Member

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    I am hoping those of you who are afraid of "branding" someone as a Diabetic come to terms with the Disease. This is who the person is. It is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Anything that works for the individual and their family, that is not harmful, should be considered.
    If a tattoo were to make the difference in obtaining appropriate medical care in an emergency, then - how could that be bad?
    Education is key, knowledge enables, Diabetes IS our life, and we are very proud of who we are and our accomplishments.
    I for one, never thought of it before, but, I really see it as a rather good idea.
     
  13. AmberO

    AmberO Approved members

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    You know I've written 2 responses and then erased them. I'm just flabbergasted that you could compare a tattoo (yes it is a brand) to coming to terms with diabetes.

    Please explain your definition of coming to terms. Because if it involves tattooing a young child that is NOT the age of consent (nobody is talking about when you are old enough btw), then maybe I haven't come to terms. lol
     
  14. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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    My concern would be discrimination later in life and would never, under any circumstances, advise anyone to tattoo "diabetic" or "diabetes" on themselves.

    Besides, someday we may have a cure, and getting rid of tattoos is expensive and painful.

    Now, if you leave some space on the left for "ex" .... ;)
     
  15. Barry

    Barry Approved members

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    old thread resurrection

    sorry....I really liked this thread when I first read it over a year ago and had to resurrect it for one more lap around the track.

    "He says he is all for it, but at age 10 we are not certain it's a decision he's fully capable of making."

    You got to love that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  16. Ivan's Mum

    Ivan's Mum Approved members

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    Have to disagree with Ellen, the silicone one's don't get ignored, the amount of people who comment after reading my sons which stands out like dog's &^*%#$@! Got them at a site mediband in australia. Cheap too.

    Bracelet or no bracelet, your son is going to get a thorough going over if he's with an ambulance officer or medic. In nz they always do a BG check anyhow. I have heard checking for a medical alert bracelet is way down the list of prioritys when it comes to medical help.

    The only thing with the tattoo is what you do when a cure comes along. Put an 'ex' above it.

    You might just be better saying you've got to wear one so pick which one it's going to be and we'll get it. You know kids, give an inch, take a mile.
     
  17. ROVERT81402

    ROVERT81402 Approved members

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    My husband, jokingly, mentioned the other day that we should get Trevor a D tattoo. I thought it was pretty funny:D
     
  18. LJS118

    LJS118 Approved members

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    I too have a tatoo, from my younger crazier years and I would never recommend it for a kid-it hurt. I would also be worried about infection with someone with d. Google medic alert and you'll see many different options from the traditional medic alert. There's lots of kid friendly ones that I'm sure your son will like.
    My son took his off last night, he tried to give me a hard time about putting it back on this morning, but after i told him it wasn't an option he just put it back on. Its so important to have.
     
  19. karonray

    karonray Approved members

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    imho

    I have offered to pay for both of my childrens first tattoos aslong as the say "medical alert" and " Type1 diabetes". They can design it any way they want, it can be placed on the wrist or on my sons chest. I will sign for them to get it on thier 16th b-day........IF THEY WANT IT!

    Am i bad for doing that, no. I have seen several very well done tattoos of medical alerts. I personally think its a great idea. I don't think that they will ever have to get them lasered off, they will have diabetes for thier lives.

    I have the diabetes awareness ribbon tattooed on my, :eek:, chest area. with both the kids names around it.
     
  20. sam1nat2

    sam1nat2 Approved members

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    I am a licensed EMT, although not working as one. In training we are taught to look for "medic alert" bracelets.
    Now everyone wears the rubber bracelets, its great they have them with the medical condition on them, however many kids wear so many of them, you cannot possibly go through all of them to see if one indicates a reason that the person you happen to come across is unconscious. Knowing a person is diabetic completely changes the protocol compated to an unconcious person wearing a peanut allergy bracelet. Initial assessments are supposed to take no longer than 30 seconds.

    Same goes for tattos.

    The reason for medic alert is to alert the professionals of a potential reason that you are incapicated, providing that there is no one else around to explain. Chances of you passing out, completely alone and away from anyone who knows anything about your medical condition are slim, however, for me, its not a chance I want to take.
     

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