The recent death of a 13 year old California girl with a peanut allergy sparked a wave of fear among parents sending children back to school all across the nation. With most kids unable to properly articulate their medical issues, parents are seeking alternative ways to keep teachers and supervisors aware of any acute allergies in order to avoid any future tragedy. Enter Michele Welsh, mother of three and founder of SafetyTat, a company that offers products such as temporary tattoos and long lasting stickers that state any food allergies or other medical issues children might have.
The goal in mind is to keep caregivers informed about the health status of children they are responsible for, in an uncertain environment like camp or school field trip. Essentially, they are warning labels that aim to prevent the recurrence of the unfortunate fate suffered by the 13 year old. But not everybody is a fan of these temporary tattoos, citing the cruelty of young children and bullying as the reason they might not be the best idea.
Publicly displaying allergies could be grounds for ammunition in children bullying other children, but most parents are ok with taking that risk if it means keeping their offspring safe and sound no matter where they are. As stated in the original Slate article, publicly branding children is essentially carries “all the utility of a dog collar with less bulk”, and it would be much more fashionable (in terms of protecting kids from further scuitenment from their peers) to make the temporary tattoos look “cooler” with more illustrative designs.
Of course, this could lead to other kids finding the functionality of these temporary tattoos irrelevant, and they could begin to wear them without having any allergies or dependencies. In any case, it appears to be a double edged sword.
Some adults have also taken to this idea, permanently branding their blood type, donor status, or if they are diabetic, asthmatic or anything else, which would serve purpose should emergency medical services need be employed. Kids will be kids, but there is nothing more terrifying to a parent than their kids being endangered because of an oversight.