If you have allergies, wearing a medical bracelet can help you communicate your condition to others better and may save your life during an emergency.
In this blog, we will share why it's important to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace if you have allergies or anaphylaxis.
What is an allergy, and how does it affect my body?
An allergy is a reaction your body has to a particular food or substance. It is caused by your immune system mistaking a harmless substance for something dangerous.
Common triggers can be split into four main types:
Usually symptoms include: sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes, which medicines like antihistamines can reduce, but sometimes allergic reactions can escalate into anaphylaxis. An estimated 20 deaths from anaphylaxis are reported each year in the UK. The key symptoms of allergies include, but are not limited to:
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you're severely allergic to. The trigger causes the immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock, in which your blood pressure drops and your airways narrow, preventing air from entering the lungs. First aid may be required or an EpiPen (to administer a dose of adrenalin) and a medical professional should be called.
Since symptoms can appear instantly and are set off by a range of triggers which can vary from person to person, we provide medical jewellery that raises allergy and anaphylaxis awareness.
How a medical bracelet can support you in an emergency?
First aiders and medical professionals will check your Airways, Breathing and Circulation (ABC) as a priority. This means they will take your pulse, so a wristband, bracelet or necklace will be found when they go to your pulse points at your wrist and neck. First responders are trained to look for medical ID tags.
Medical bracelets can explain why you are having particular symptoms, which can notify strangers that you need help. They can speed up effective first aid when you are unable to communicate the help you need or when you are unable to reach your own EpiPen. In the case of those with latex allergies or allergies to drugs, it is crucial to alert medics to these allergies. Medical jewellery does this for you when you are at your most vulnerable.
Do I need a medical bracelet if I have allergies or Anaphylaxis?
Unexpected exposure to allergies can lead to Anaphylactic shock.
Living with allergies can be difficult in the sense that you have to constantly be wary of what you eat or touch. The chance of being exposed to an allergen is quite high, especially if your certain allergy is presented in most things around the house, such as a latex allergy. Even if you’re really careful about what you eat or what you come into contact with, unexpected exposures can still happen like being surprised with a bunch of latex balloons for a birthday or unknowingly eating something with nuts in it.
When this happens, your allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock, and its essential people know how to help you in this situation, like where to find your EpiPen. Having your allergy engraved onto a medical bracelet is a simple visible cue for others. This simple communication can help others be aware, and sensitive to the situation, lowering the chances that they would accidentally expose you to an allergen.
Let medical staff know about your latex allergy.
During an emergency, it is standard procedure for medical workers to wear latex gloves to keep both people safe whilst examining you. Latex can actually be found in many everyday items including, balloons and rubber bands.
Wearing a medical bracelet with this information clearly engraved onto it allows medical staff to be aware of your latex allergy, so they will examine you without the latex gloves or use a material that will be harmless to you.
An EpiPen can save your life.
When allergies cause an anaphylactic shock, an EpiPen is needed for a boost of adrenaline in the body. This is life-saving medicine as it blocks the progression of the allergic response on the body.
Wearing a medical bracelet with “EpiPen needed” engraved onto it allows others to see that you need one in an emergency. You can also engrave wear to find your EpiPen so strangers or medical staff know where to look when they help you.
What should you engrave on your allergy or anaphylaxis bracelet?
Your bracelet might state a diagnosis such as "Allergic to Penicillin" so your symptoms are instantly recognised or it could give a directive such as “Call (Name) on +44123 456789” so your family can be notified of what has happened and advise doctors on your behalf. This is a personal choice and you can reveal as many details as you wish.
As a guideline, your bracelet should say "Nut Allergy" or "EpiPen needed " so it explains what has caused your reaction and how to help you. It could explain why you've collapsed and are struggling to breathe or that your carer should be notified.
It could also explain that you are a carer yourself, for someone with severe allergies. Specifically, where you have children with severe allergies, other arrangements may need to be made. We are happy to organise similar bracelets for you and your family as appropriate so both angles are covered and you can have matching jewellery in styles you both like.
As long as the text is clearly understandable, it can be discreet or stylised. Our jewellery is designed to be attractive and personalised so you get an item you will actually wear. There are several masculine designs and plenty for active lifestyles too. Allergies show up in different ways, so our medical jewellery does too.
Where to go for more support:
Many people manage to have great adventures, lots of fun, and live their best life despite the fact that they have an allergy ... because they take sensible precautions and plan ahead.
Thalina Houghton (16) is bravely navigating life through her spontaneous, random allergic reactions due to “trigger unknown”, which means she has to be prepared for an attack at any time. Living like this has heightened her anxiety going through daily life. Many others can relate to this sadly and small steps, such as wearing medical jewellery can help to alleviate the mental strains of always being on edge in case of a potential reaction. Knowing somebody will be able to help you when you need it most and knowing you’ve taken every precaution can go some way to feeling a little more in control day to day. Thalina’s story is one of many incredible journeys shared by Anaphylaxis Campaign.
Adam undertook the adventure of a lifetime, trekking through the Wahabi desert with his friends. This involved eating his pre-planned, packed and prepared meals containing 2800 calories per day and keeping his EpiPen in a flask. This inspiring story proves you can take precautions and thoroughly plan out ways around allergies in order to do amazing things. Adam had to think long and hard to make the right choices to stay safe. Medical jewellery is one small part of this and can be used on any adventure however big or small.
If you are traveling as a family instead, you may not be able to carry enough food for your entire clan but there are tips to be found for such undertakings on Instagram. Search for @anaphylaxisawareness for family tips for major holidays such as:
Assistance is key and this is where medical jewellery makes all the difference if you are out and about by yourself.
For more information about what to expect in the event of anaphylaxis, Betterhealth.vic.gov.au discusses the risk of losing consciousness during a severe reaction, and a bracelet can help communicate that it is an anaphylactic reaction.
Medical jewellery can be something that enhances your style and expresses your individuality. 15-year-old Noelle, from FARE’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG), has multiple food allergies and shares her experience that medical alert jewellery “can make food allergies seem a little less annoying”. She also shares her tips on how to select an item in a style you love.
Facebook group for Anaphylaxis Campaign posts links to join virtual support groups including how to prepare for major holidays. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information if you wish to attend. They also include regional groups so you have the chance to arrange in-person support if you wish.
Support for children with allergies.
You may not always be able to speak for your child if they are not in your care. A medical ID gives those helping your child the information needed regarding their medical conditions. An app on a phone may not be checked in an emergency whereas the medical tag will most likely be seen.
Additionally, when it is seen in everyday life, the physical band can also help to start a conversation so that children understand allergies. This will enable your child to grow up confident in their ability to communicate their needs and stay safe as they become more independent. You can read more about the important part of parenting a child with allergies.
Colours and symbols.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign colour is orange, so you may choose to incorporate the colour orange into your bracelet in case it helps to signal your allergy to a person familiar with the Anaphylaxis Campaign. If you want to include the colour orange in your bracelet, select the orange cord in our Soul bracelet, Pip bracelet, or any of our cord styles.
This is a personal choice and what you write on the bracelet will be able to communicate your needs regardless of colour. When ordering any of our items, please ensure you have mentioned any allergies to metals or other materials. We are happy to personalise orders to fit around individual requirements, if possible. Similarly, please contact us to check the best sizing or indicate on your order if your symptoms include swelling that may affect the size you need.
Orange Wig Day:
If bright colours do appeal to you, you might want to check out Orange Wig Day! This is an Anaphylaxis Campaign initiative, to raise awareness and funds to support those affected by severe allergies and anaphylaxis.
May-contain.com has support for anaphylaxis.
If you have allergies or anaphylaxis, wearing a medical alert bracelet can allow you to feel like yourself again. You can choose your own style, design and engraving and let others know how to help you in an emergency. Equally, friends and family members are reassured by the fact that they can keep in contact with you. Have a browse of our full range of medical jewellery.
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