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Medic-Alert Bracelet Allergy

11 replies [Last post]
By marlene555 on Wed, 11-10-99, 22:50

My son has a severe life-threatning allergy to peanuts and has a difficult time wearing his medic-alert necklace. He has a nickel allergy and when he wears the necklace it causes a reaction on his skin. The necklace is supposed to be surgical stainless steel, so as not to cause this reaction. Does anyone have a suggestion how to stop the skin irritation from the necklace. I have tried "painting" the neclace disk with clear nailpolish, but this did not work. Are there any other "medic-alert" type bracelets or necklaces that can be ordered by a different company other than Medic-Alert? Or is this the best company to trust your life with. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

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By LoriHuhn on Thu, 11-11-99, 00:00

This might be a stupid answer, but I know that Medic Alert bracelets can also be ordered in brass and sterling silver. Do they contain nickel?

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By scywong on Thu, 11-11-99, 02:27

Medic Alert has a sports bracelet that has a watch band strap. At least I know they supply this in Canada. The Canadian MedicAlert Foundation's number is 1-800-6681507. They may be able to help you.

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By tromba1 on Thu, 11-11-99, 03:06

Marlene, I've heard of a new product called Allerband. Nylon alert bracelets. Check out [url="http://www.allerband.com"]www.allerband.com[/url]

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By Donnamarie on Thu, 11-11-99, 23:29

Recently, the Food Allergy network did a story on the difference between different companies. I think there were 3. If the other suggestions don't work, I recommend emailing FAN and asking them. Good luck.

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By Mary Kay on Sat, 11-13-99, 04:03

My son also has an allergy to nickel and the stainless steel Medical Alert bracelet gave him terrible eczema. So we switched to the 10K gold filled one and that worked well, until the clasp became loose and he lost it. We ordered the new Titanium one with a Twist-o-flex band and he hated it. It looked like a woman's watch (he is 7 yrs. old) so we re-ordered another gold filled one. Well obviously this one has some nickel mixed in with it because he had bleeding, weeping rashes with it. Medical Alert has been helpful in working with us and today sent us an expiremental one that they call a "sports band". It is black nylon, adjustable and has the emblem on top of the nylon so it does not touch the skin. He of course doesn't like this one either, and I am not thrilled with it. It will have to be removed for showers and swimming and it is big and clunky looking. So I have to say, we are still looking for an alternative. I think the problem with the latest gold filled one is that, like products made on peanut product machines, this one was manufactured on a line that uses nickel and there was enough on it to cause an allergic reaction. Our other option, I was told was to go to a jewelry store and have one made in 14K gold. About $250 to $300. I don't think so for a 7 year old. Medic Alert also has 14 K gold for about $300. If anyone has a better alternative I too would appreciate the feedback. By the way, FAN was helping me in this venture and got Medic Alert to send me the Sports Band, so they are at a loss as to what to do also. Can anyone please help?
By the way, sterling silver also has nickel in it.

Mary Kay

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By DebO on Sat, 11-13-99, 10:42

You can get a 14K gold child bracelet for $179 if you order online from

Make sure you look for the child models. It still is expensive, but at least it is not $300!

I have e-mailed them to ask if any of their other bracelets are free of nickel and chromium.

I have contact allergies to both (my dermatologist told me it is relatively common) and wear no jewelry - but I don't really need a medic alert either (my daughter is the pa person!)

Good Luck

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By Mary Kay on Sun, 11-14-99, 14:05

Thanks for the info DebO. My son has a 6 1/2" bracelet so the small ones wouldn't work for him, but I did see some other ideas on that site. I am thinking about switching to a 14K gold medallion but I have not made any decisions yet. I appreciate you sharing the website though. Do you know if this company has a registry like Medic Alert?

Mary Kay

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By DebO on Mon, 11-15-99, 04:05

As far as I can tell they don't have a registry like Medica Alert. I wonder, though, if you are already a member of medic alert (ie. you have paid for your membership) but can't use or don't want to use one of medic alert's bracelets if you could just have your medic alert number engraved on the other bracelet. They do provide a medical information wallet card and will engrave whatever you want on the bracelet.

By the way, they answered my e-mail from yesterday and say that sterling silver is definitely not advisable for nickel (no surprise there) and that the only other choice they offer is the gold products.

Good Luck

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By SueQ on Mon, 11-22-99, 15:15

Marlene, DebO, etc:
I was so glad to see this thread. My son has been wearing a MedicAlert bracelet for 3 years now. He's on his 3rd one - but the second one I ordered was Sterling Silver. He developed a terrible rash from it and I had to replace it with the Stainless Steel. I suspected Nickel allergy because I had heard that nickel is allergenic, and assumed that nickel was mixed with the sterling silver but not the stainless steel. He doesn't have a reaction from the stainless steel one, which he's been wearing for about a year now. However, last week he lost the steel one playing outside so I put the silver one back on until I could get a replacement - sure enough, 2 days later he had hard scabby red bumps all around his wrist. Luckily, we found the steel one.

Now I have 2 questions: 1) If this means he has a nickel allergy, is there anything other than the bracelet that I should avoid for him (he has dermagraphia - meaning he gets hives wherever and whenever he gets bumped or scratched and I'm always looking for things that might "cause" this condition). 2) Why doesn't he react to the steel one? Do you know if stainless steel has less nickel than sterling silver?

Thanks for any info and I hope you find a bracelet that will work!


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By sandi on Mon, 11-22-99, 15:38

My son also w/ an allergy to nickel had a reaction to his sterling silver Medic Alert Bracelet. We would always coat the snaps on his clothing w/ clear fingernail polish. This would keep the nickel off his skin and last through multiple washings. So we tried it on his bracelet, and it Works!! We've only had to recoat it about 1 time a month!

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By marlene555 on Mon, 11-22-99, 20:08

My son had a stainless steel medicalert bracelet that we got him about 8 years ago. For some strange reason "that" bracelet never caused an allergic reaction on his skin. He lost that one, and we replaced it with another stainless steel necklace about 2 years ago and that one he has never been able to wear sucessfully. I gives him a terrible rash/reaction from the contact. I coated it with nail polish, but for him it never worked. Go figure...I bought the same type of medicalert product but at different times, and the newer emblem causes a reaction. I guess medicalert must have reformulated the amount of nickel that is in the stainless steel emblem. If coating the emblem works for you, consider yourself fortunate. I am still looking for an option for my son. A am thinking of buying the new titanium emblem that they sell that they "say" will not cause an allergic reation.

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