How to get 3-year-old to wear medic-alert bracelet?

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 12:32am
Jodi's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2000 - 09:00

pI am planning to purchase a medic-alert bracelet in the very near future for my 3 year-old PA son. I am asking for any advice on how I am going to master getting him to wear it continuously. He tends to be very "picky" when it comes to what he wears right down to his shoes. The only shoes he will wear is tennis shoes. We put dress shoes on him at Christmas and he refused to walk -- just stood in one place and cried until we finally took them off. His tennis shoes didn't really go with his dress clothes, but that is a small compromise I can live with -- wearing the medic alert bracelet is something I don't want to compromise on. Anyway, any suggestions you can give would be appreciated! I only get on here every couple days so be patient with me responding! Thanks Again!/p

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 1:01am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

At first my son resisted when I told him about the Medic Alert, before it arrived in the mail. I think he didn't like the word "bracelet." He was a young 4 when we got it. We switched to calling it simply a Medic Alert or Medic Alert tag and dropped the word bracelet. I told him it was something special for him, to keep him safe, and that it was coming in the mail. He loves getting mail, so he looked forward to receiving it. I explained how it works--that people would see the tag and know to keep him away from peanuts. He is apprehensive about peanuts so this convinced him. We showed him his name engraved on the medallion, and commented on how good it looked on him. We had no resistance from him at all, and I wouldn't exactly call him the easy-going type in general! Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 1:28am
MattsMom's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

My son is only 2, but I did the same type thing as above. I hyped the MedicAlert coming in the mail and the fact that once people saw it they would know not to give him nuts. He already knew he couldn't have nuts because they would make him sick, so he seemed to like the idea. And he LOVES getting mail (truly his or not) so that was a plus. When it came in I oohed and ahhed over it and asked him if he wanted me to put it on his wrist for him. I was planning on putting it on in his sleep if he resisted. He said he did want it on, so I let him pick which wrist and then put it on. A couple of hours later he was trying to get it off, but I just told him I couldn't take it off, that it wouldn't come off. (small white lie, I know, but it worked) He was very proud of it for the first couple of weeks and showed it to everybody he met, but since then he hasn't even taken notice of it.

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 4:26am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We purchased one last fall, just before my son turned three. He accepted it pretty well -- did try to take it off after the first few hours -- we just calmly explained that it doesn't come off, and left it at that. From the start, we called it his "watch". My husband wears a watch regularly, and I think our son thought it was neat to have something he considered adult. It's obviously very different from daddy's -- but the concept appealed to him.
Three year olds are more adaptable than you may think. Stay calm - stick with it - but don't compromise. If you let him take it off the first time, he will expect it to come off again...and again...and again.
If something ever happened to you (or the adult in charge of your son), that bracelet may be the one thing that prevents another person from "consoling" your son with a peanut-butter cookie.
Believe me when I say that I write this with all the empathy in the world -- but of all the battles (if it does turn out to be one) to "pick" with your son -- this will be one of the very most important.
Stand firm. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
-Sue

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 5:41am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Jodi,
I agree with M

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 6:09am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Jodi - as soon as I read your post, I realized you could have been describing my friend's son, Owen. Owen is NOT easy to adapt to anything! It takes until approximately mid-July before he will start to wear summer shorts, because he doesn't want to change from wearing pants. Same thing in the fall - he freezes because he won't wear anything but shorts 'til mid-October. Don't even get me started on his choice of footwear, LOL!
I know it may sound like his mother should put her foot down, but believe me - Owen is a force to be reckoned with, so I understand where you're coming from with your own son.
Hmmm... if he's as set in his ways as Owen, you do indeed have a difficult situation ahead. I can only imagine the difficulty of trying to put a bracelet on Owen *shudder*.
All of the above posters are correct, though - this is one battle you have to win, as hard as it sounds, if you want him to have the added safety of a bracelet. I think Sandra Y had a really good idea about getting him to anticipate the bracelet's arrival in the mail. If he absolutely refuses to put it on, maybe tell him he doesn't have to wear it today, but he must start wearing it tomorrow, just to give him time to get used to the idea.
Leave it out, so he can see it and get used to its appearance. Let him touch it and play with it, and tell him only special kids get to wear this bracelet. He can put it on and take it off the first day, if he wants, but remind him that the next day, he has to start wearing it all the time. When the time arrives for him to put it on, offer a special treat to him for wearing it - a trip to the playground, or baking a treat with Mom.
Make sure you order the smallest size, to lessen the chance that it will be too "dangly" on his wrist - the constant slipping up and down of the bracelet might annoy him at first. Maybe you could offer to hold it in place with a colorful bandaid at first (placed over the links, not the MedicAlert symbol).
Of course, remind him how proud you are of him for wearing it. Tell him it's his own special shield that helps keep him safe.
Good luck and let us know how he makes out. Owen has asthma and eczema, so he may one day have to wear a bracelet drawing attention to his inhaler - I'm interested in finding out how your son does, so I can help my friend, if and when the time comes for Owen's bracelet. Take care!

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 9:55am
Jodi's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2000 - 09:00

Thanks for all of your advice. Don't take this personally, but I had to chuckle at the suggestion of putting a colorful band aide on the bracelet to keep it in place though because my son has a total fit when someone tries to put a band aide on him. He went for a vaccination a couple weeks ago and the nurse went to put one on him (it was a cute colorful one too) and he was none too happy about it! I will have to post a follow-up once we get one for him (which will be in the near future) and let you all know how it went. Maybe Owen and my son were twins separated at birth!! LOL! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2001 - 1:31pm
Sarahsmom's picture
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Joined: 04/04/2001 - 09:00

My husband suggests a tatoo!! Thats men for ya! Is there someone in your sons life that he just thinks is the coolest person on earth? That person could give it to him as a gift...

Posted on: Tue, 04/17/2001 - 10:30am
Jodi's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2000 - 09:00

That is a good idea Sara [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]. My son loves his grandma (my mother-in-law) more than life itself. I think if he would have a choice, he would go live with her cuz she spoils him rotten and he loves every minute of it. Maybe I will buy one and have her give it to him. Might just work . . . Thanks for the idea!

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2001 - 12:44pm
laring's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2001 - 09:00

Wow! What a great site. This topic just came up for me at lunch today at work. However, I have to admit I was the "fool" of the conversation. My boss (who's son has a milk allergy) advised me I should get on the ball and get a bracelet. My son's 2 1/2 years old. I never really thought about it for my PA son. Is it necessary now? Or just when he's in a situation without me? Please help!

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2001 - 2:10pm
momof4's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2001 - 09:00

I found out about my daughters PA at a little over two. I ordered the braclet from a company up in Washington state, I put on it her name, address, phone number and allergies. I always figured if something should happen, a car accident or anything, I may not be able to alert someone of her allergy. So I got her one that is adjustable, but very difficult to take off, for $9.00. My oldest has an allergy to Sulfa meds, so I got her one too. Then my PA daughter was more willing to wear it. She still asks to have it off, but she has worn it since she got it. The only time she had it off was to put the new one with the new address and phone number on it. I also got one at that time for my then 2 month old baby. I put it on her at about 8 months old, she has always worn one. The sooner you put it on, the better. By the time he is 5, you will be amazed at how well it has gone. It is very trying, but DON'T give in for a second.
Good luck.
Cindy

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