Help!Toddler won\'t wear Alert bracelet!

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2000 - 11:44pm
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

Just received the MedicAlert bracelet for my 3 year old son - and now I've no clue how to go about this. I approached the subject with him matter-of-factly, explaining that it was to tell people how to help him were he to accidently eat peanuts/nuts and get sick. I put it on him and he wore it for about 15 minutes before complaining he didn't like it and trying to pull it off. I removed it before he could break the chain. During the 15 mins he wore it he kept his arm immobile as if it were a 10 ton weight.

Now, I didn't want to make a game of it and treat it as a toy (calling it a Power Rangers' bracelet for example) because I didn't want him to perceive it as a toy. I'm beginning to wonder if I should've done just that and wait til he's older to explain the importance of treating the bracelet with respect.

Would having him wear it in increasing increments of time everyday help? Should I put it on him at night at first?

Any successful tips would be most appreciated! (The bracelet is the stainless steel chain one)

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 1:47am
dettu's picture
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Joined: 08/12/1999 - 09:00

I did present it as a treat. My son really liked the book "Mouse Count" in which a snake is outwitted by smart little mice, and I told him it was his "sneaky snake" bracelet (because the symbol on it has a snake). I also told him the truth, that it was to let others know he has dangerous allergies, and that he had to wear it all the time. But OTOH I got it when he was only 2. He started wearing it immediately and has only had it off once--when we had to buy a new one as his allergy info had changed.
It's like anything kids have to do that's good for them--don't present them with an alternative (i.e. if you're bad enough, mom will have to remove the bracelet)...easy to say, I know, but it's like not letting them out of the car seat, not letting them ride bikes without a helmet, etc.
Several non-PA kids have admired my son's "cool" bracelet, which helps, I think.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 2:06am
Scooby's picture
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Joined: 04/09/2000 - 09:00

My 2 1/2 year old son is also giving me trouble about not wearing his bracelet. He was great when he first got it a few months ago. He calls it his "watch." Personnaly, I don't think it matters what you call it or if it is a treat, just as long as he wears it.
My son wore his bracelety for about two weeks straight, while we were on vacation. Then out of the blue he wanted it off, and I haven't been able to get him to wear it since. I am now wondering if one of his day care buddies said something bad about it.
Someone once posted that they put it on their child while he was sleeping. I think I will give that a try.
Dettu, you are right about not giving alternatives. I was a sucker and let him take it off, foolishly thinking he would wear it again with no fuss.
By the way, arachide, my son also did the immobile arm thing for a few minutes after first putting it on. He is also a power rangers fan.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 2:09am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Arachide - I think wearing the bracelet to bed a night, at first, is a good idea. It will give him time to get used to the feeling of it on his wrist, without it interfering in his play. It will take time for him to get used to it, but hopefully, he should only be aware of it the first week. After that, he should be ignoring it (cross your fingers!).
I like the comparison in the post above, to children in their car seats. That's exactly the way I look at it. It's not an option; to stay safe you HAVE to wear it. Our kids are pretty good at making us feel bad when we make them do something they don't want to do, but just try to be firm about it without creating a power struggle. Don't overreact when he wants to take it off, just remind him he has to wear it, then change the subject - Oh, and give him a kiss and tell him you're proud of him for being such a big boy, helping himself stay safe! Good luck!

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 4:55am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

After reading this thread I sure am glad I got Gavin's bracelet now at 1 yr old. He doesn't even really notice it.
The idea of making it not an option is a good one. Like the car seat.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 10:57am
BeckyA's picture
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Joined: 08/24/2000 - 09:00

I also put the bracelet on my son when he was sleeping. When he woke up he didn't notice it for awhile and then asked, "How did that get there?" He is 4 and he will ask to take it off at home, and I let him - But when we go out he knows it is part of the package, just like bringing the epi-pens no matter where we are going or for how long. I have it on his left wrist, also as he is right handed. I guess it just takes a little while to get used to it.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 11:19pm
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

Well I managed to get the bracelet on my son yesterday afternoon by calling it his new Power Rangers' Snake bracelet (thanks dettu). At which point my precocious progeny turned around and exclaimed, "This isn't a Power Rangers' bracelet! It's part of my medicine!". He then stomped off in a huff but didn't complain about the bracelet til several hours later. That's when I explained he had to wear it for protection against the evil demons! This he found amusing and told his father about it when my husband got home from work.
We did take off the bracelet at bedtime for fear he may scratch himself or pull it off in his sleep (he's quite strong).
This morning I put it back on him with some grumbling on his part, but it's been 3 hours and so far so good.
Whew...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2000 - 2:03am
dettu's picture
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Joined: 08/12/1999 - 09:00

If you can think up some mythical reason why he needs to wear it at night, this could be to your advantage later. When he's older, suppose he wants to spend the night at a friend's place, go to camp, etc.--you'll worry less if he has it on, right?
Many people have jewelry that they wear night and day (wedding rings, ID bracelets, whatever). My boss has a MedicAlert and never takes it off.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2000 - 3:11am
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

dettu- I agree with you about the night but my husband didn't think it would go well. I'm leaving the bracelet on my son during his afternoon nap today. Hopefully this'll convince hubby that there's no danger sleeping with a chain bracelet on.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2000 - 3:38am
san103's picture
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Joined: 03/27/2000 - 09:00

My son wears his Medic Alert bracelet 24 hours a day. He is only 13 months, and he has been wearing it for 4 months. I am comfortable that he is safe with it at night. In my opinion it would be more disruptive to a child to have to put it on every morning -- each time you put it on would serve as a reminder that they did not want it on. When they wear it 24 hours a day, they are more likely to forget about it. Hope you find something that works for you and your son.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2000 - 9:16am
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

My husband just tucked my son in for the night and came out of the room with the bracelet. He says our son was complaining about it and picking at it (by the way he'd worn it all day). Rather than encourage our boy to wear it, my husband just took it off! So much for my strategy...now I don't have just my son to train, but my husband too...

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