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My daughter is 10 and newly diagnosed. I'm trying to decide if i should buy her a medical alert bracelet to wear until she is old enough to completely understand what she can and cannot eat. I want other adults to take this disease seriously. I keep hearing people say its ok for her to eat a bite. Just wondering if your kids wear them?

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We used a medic alert bracelet for the first year (grade 1) . It made me feel better.

I also used one for myself when I was on blood thinners for a blood clot. So obviously I believe in them.

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If you would feel better with her wearing one, I'd say sure, why not?! :)

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I was surprised how many adults simply don't listen to a child when they say "no thank you" . . . My son (7) had a bracelet that he wore in the beginning. He is very shy. He would shake his head no when offered food but (strangely) people would persist - insist even - that he have a treat. With the bracelet, he could just show it and that would usually make them stop.

Now after a year he doesn't wear it. He is able and willing to explain what he can and can't have and why.

The one we had was a simple rubber bracelet (like the "livestrong" ones) only red, that said "gluten free" in white letters.

I have read somewhere (here? in a book? can't remember) that maybe it is not a good idea since so few people even know what gluten is. In an emergency situation, lifesaving medicine might be withheld if the person responding is not sure if it is gluten free or not. Not sure I believe this since I would expect doctors and EMTs to know what gluten is . . . and how many lifesaving medications contain gluten? Sounded a bit paranoid.

Cara

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Not sure I believe this since I would expect doctors and EMTs to know what gluten is . . . and how many lifesaving medications contain gluten? Sounded a bit paranoid.

Unfortunately, this is not true.

Many Dr's don't know if meds they are giving/prescribing are gluten-free so I would doubt an EMT is going to know. Also, if it's being give in an ambulance, it is LIVE SAVING and necessary. *Could* it contain gluten? Yes. Is being glutened going to kill someone, not usually (yes, this is where a few people jump in on a friend of a friend of a friend died of gluten shock which is REALLLLLLY rare, but anyway....)

My child DOES wear one but I don't have gluten listed on it. I have things that are life threatening. Gluten is not so we don't list it. It is in the computer files of the company who supplies the bracelet and the service though.

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If a "life saving medication" is required its unlikely to even be oral. You will get IV's and IV meds. Gluten is a large molecule and would not be in IV meds. It would clog them up and there is no need for flavors, colors, etc in an IV. They will not force an unconcious person to eat or drink anything - that could kill them by choking or aspiration into the lungs.

Doctors, Pharmacists, etc don't know if gluten or corn or sugar is in a medication unless they can look at the ingredients.

If the bracelet would give the child something to back the food refusal up with adults, great. Most parents of other kids offering your kid a cookie are not going to look for a medical bracelet, read it & understand it.

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I was surprised how many adults simply don't listen to a child when they say "no thank you" . . . My son (7) had a bracelet that he wore in the beginning. He is very shy. He would shake his head no when offered food but (strangely) people would persist - insist even - that he have a treat. With the bracelet, he could just show it and that would usually make them stop.

Now after a year he doesn't wear it. He is able and willing to explain what he can and can't have and why.

This idea hadn't occurred to me till I read this thread, but if we did decide to do it, it would be for this reason. My daughter (6) is shy and also sometimes hard to understand (language skills are great but her articulation is poor). Even though I think people are likely to believe her if she says she has an allergy, it might help to have something she can show them.

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My son who is almost 6 wears one- and loves it. He thinks it's like his grandpa's. They even wear it on the same wrist.

They have lots of cute ones kids would love at http://www.petitebaublesboutique.com/

My son has the cowboy one- it is super cute, has held up well, and he feels good about wearing it, and I feel better too.

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See...here's the thing with cute ones (and I know to each her/his own),

The idea behind them is to alert medical personal of an issue. If they think it's just a "cute bracelet" the may miss the point entirely which would be a shame.

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We haven't had anyone think of it as just a cute bracelet. People notice it, because while it has cute beading etc., the plate you put info on is obviously a medical alert. It's worked out really well.

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See...here's the thing with cute ones (and I know to each her/his own),

The idea behind them is to alert medical personal of an issue. If they think it's just a "cute bracelet" the may miss the point entirely which would be a shame.

Those kid ones she linked to do seem to have the big ugly Med ALert "plate". There are some really pretty ones with a little tag for scanning or just a number. Those were the type I have heard complaints about. Women are wearing them with 3 other pretty beaded bracelets with charms and the Emergency responders & E.R. don't see it.

I did like the idea that a kid could use it to help them say no to the adults.

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They could be/have been overlooked. Also, I would rather pay for the service that comes along with the classic "medic alert" because that information is necessary if someone has my child for a medical emergency.

I also don't think a bracelet is going to stop people from offering kids things they shouldn't have and if they did stop to look at the bracelet, many don't know what Celiac is anyway.

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. Not sure I believe this since I would expect doctors and EMTs to know what gluten is .

In a perfect world maybe, (and I would LOVE it if everyone were gluten and celiac-savvy :)) but I doubt many EMTs would. :(

I have 4 friends who are nurses and one of them is also an EMT.

I had to educate them FULLY on celiac and gluten. :unsure:

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If I were to see a medic alert bracelet on a child's wrist, I would ask the child what it was for. Even if the wee one can't say "I can't have gluten" and I did not know what gluten or Celiac was, I would call the Mom and ask. Maybe I am unusual? :rolleyes:

If the Mom feels it would be helpful, and it puts her mind at rest, what's the harm in the kiddo wearing the bracelet?

With all due respect, even though some say gluten ingestion is not life-threatening to celiacs--I would beg to differ. I found it pretty damn life-threatening when it nearly killed me. While we may not have an anaphylactic reaction, many of us have immediate neurological symptoms from gluten (which can impair driving and thinking and coordination) or some have bowel intussusception, etc.

Th OP's concern over immediate AND long-term gluten ingestion from well-meaning adults offering her kiddo cookies, etc. is no less worrisome for her than a Mom with a child with severe allergies. IMHO

OP Mom, if you want your child to wear a bracelet, I say GO FOR IT. ;)

I may even get one myself. :)

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IrishHeart, You are not most people. Do you have kids? If not I will tell you, my kids are offered things from adults at least once a week....at least. Even my kid with the Medic Alert is offered things. Sometimes from people who KNOW better (grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, teachers and on and on). You would ask because you get it. MOST PEOPLE DON'T. I have been living in the "food is not my friend" life for 4 years now and we battle this often.

As I said, is gluten USUALLY life threatening? No. You don't need to teach me about the facts of Celiac and that ongoing exposure is an issue. If the medics find you incapacitated d/t glutening, I would bet they would think "diabetic issue" before "Glutening". Even with the ID, because major neurologic issues are NOT the norm of gluten ingestion, I doubt they would think it was a gluten issue.

I never said for the OP not to do it. My warning is that if you want people to take it seriously, and it is a big enough issue that you want others to take seriously, perhaps getting a "cute" medic alert isn't the way to go. I also said "to each her/his own". I believe if you think it warrants a medic ID bracelet, I would want one with the service of a phone number they can call to get detailed information on my child should he (God forbid) need it.

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Even my kid with the Medic Alert is offered things. Sometimes from people who KNOW better (grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, teachers and on and on). You would ask because you get it. MOST PEOPLE DON'T. I have been living in the "food is not my friend" life for 4 years now and we battle this often.

As I said, is gluten USUALLY life threatening? No. You don't need to teach me about the facts of Celiac and that ongoing exposure is an issue. If the medics find you incapacitated d/t glutening, I would bet they would think "diabetic issue" before "Glutening". Even with the ID, because major neurologic issues are NOT the norm of gluten ingestion, I doubt they would think it was a gluten issue.

When I said "I would ask", I meant EVEN if I had never been DXed myself. I am the kind of person who would take something like a medic alert bracelet--even a pretty one-- seriously. Maybe I am unusual? (Not sure why you asked if I have children --or why it is relevant, but I am a step-mother, grandma, aunt, great-aunt and a teacher. :) Lots of kiddos in my life. )

Why on earth someone who knows your child should not have something because he is allergic offers it anyway is beyond me. Are they that stupid/inconsiderate? What part of this aren't they getting? You must want to wring their bloody necks! :blink:

And I was not trying to teach you, personally, anything about the "facts of celiac". I was just making a point to the readers of the thread.

(I could discuss with you your assertion that "major neurological issues are not the norm" of gluten ingestion, because there is growing evidence to refute that --and I know plenty of members who might disagree with this-- and I am ready and able to give my thoughts, but that would take the subject off- topic here and that is unfair to the OP. So I will just let it go. )

MY POINT WAS: If nothing else, wearing the bracelet might give the child more confidence to say to an adult "I can't eat that, but thanks anyway. See my bracelet?"

OR...This colorful reminder would be especially helpful if the adult SEES the bracelet and remembers (since you point out that they easily forget) and says "Oh that's right, Timmy can't have gluten." That's all I was trying to say. :)

Kind regards, IH

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I only asked about kids because it happens ALL THE TIME!

I would say (and I know this is from personal experience and that of others Mom's I know) most people do not get it! How many times on this place do people say things like "XYZ asked if bread had gluten in it" or "is butter dairy?" Or my favorite "oh it's just a little bit, it won't hurt him!" The fact that you ask is great! It is not how most people operate though unfortunately. I wish it were but that just isn't the case.

Why do people do it? They forget. They don't think something can possible have XYZ in it. They don't believe a bite will cause damage.

Again I am not here to argue with you or anyone on the ins and outs of Celiac. I know what the research says, I read to death about it. Wear one if you want, OP, IH whoever!

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I think both sides have been presented. I don't think there is more to add.

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If I were to see a medic alert bracelet on a child's wrist, I would ask the child what it was for. Even if the wee one can't say "I can't have gluten" and I did not know what gluten or Celiac was, I would call the Mom and ask. Maybe I am unusual? :rolleyes:

If the Mom feels it would be helpful, and it puts her mind at rest, what's the harm in the kiddo wearing the bracelet?

With all due respect, even though some say gluten ingestion is not life-threatening to celiacs--I would beg to differ. I found it pretty damn life-threatening when it nearly killed me. While we may not have an anaphylactic reaction, many of us have immediate neurological symptoms from gluten (which can impair driving and thinking and coordination) or some have bowel intussusception, etc.

Th OP's concern over immediate AND long-term gluten ingestion from well-meaning adults offering her kiddo cookies, etc. is no less worrisome for her than a Mom with a child with severe allergies. IMHO

OP Mom, if you want your child to wear a bracelet, I say GO FOR IT. ;)

I may even get one myself. :)

I agree. I have two daughters with Celiac and each of them have another autoimmune disease that they have to take medication for. I do not want them ingesting gluten whatsoever because it interferes with the absorption of their prescribed medications. For a diabetic, it prevents the absorption of carbs, which is needed if you're injecting insulin to break the carbs down.

I did get them both bracelets. They're cute and appropriate for their age. But they both have obvious medic alert signs on them so emergency personnel know. They are both active in school and sports, and I can't be there all the time. I want everyone to know how to take care of them if I'm not there right away. If they go to a friend's house and something happens, they can be taken care of while I am being called.

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