Ollergy is almost five months old! I can tell you it has been A LOT more work than I expected (it’s good I don’t need much sleep to function) but so much fun. One of the most rewarding parts has been connecting with other food allergy families, like Thomas and Karen of Show Your Teal. Thomas and Karen started Show Your Teal because of their two sons with food allergies. Here’s a bit from them:
“Our goal is to provide products to families that help them live better and easier with food allergies. We have built a set of unified products that help in three ways: awareness, prevention, and response.”
I purchased a shirt and they sent a number of other goodies for me to review. Here’s what I think after a few months of use:
I absolutely LOVE this shirt from Show Your Teal. It is slightly fitted, soft, and has an oh-so-true message. I surely do love someone with food allergies and I’ll honestly talk to just about anyone about it. I started a blog to talk to the world about it! This shirt is the perfect way to share part of our family’s story and connect with others, without being over the top. I wore it for a Food Allergy Awareness Week storytime during #TealTakeover with some perfectly matching teal pants I already owned. Ollie is somewhat blocking it here as he didn’t want to leave my lap, but everyone that came to the library knew just how much food allergy awareness means to me.
We use this button when attending larger events where there are a lot of people present that don’t know Ollie and his allergies. At three, he’s for sure in the independent stage. When I put this button on Ollie, it gives peace of mind that we don’t have to hover over him every second of an event. As he gets older, I think it’ll even be helpful for people he does know, as a reminder to be careful around him.
This hasn’t been used a lot yet, as we honestly don’t often venture to big parties/places where there is a lot of food and people we don’t know. Even with the independence stage in full force, we don’t really allow him to venture anywhere without an immediate family member yet. I think we’re heading to a big music festival soon and there will be a few preschool events after, so my guess is the button will get more use in the coming months.
All three patches are on Ollie’s backpack. Karen and Tom sum up how important these patches are with the following statement, “No matter how hard we may try to keep our friends and family safe, sometimes things happen that are out of our control. The best scenario in that situation is to be able to communicate a medical condition to any responder.” Ollie will carry his backpack to and from preschool next year and we usually have it with us when out and about. I want EVERYONE to know there is epinephrine inside of it.
Given Ollie’s long list of allergies, we opted not to go for allergen-specific patches and instead are using the 2+ food allergies one. The hook and loop feature can be used on a medical bag that is coming soon, but I also like that it means food specific patches can be added and removed as needed (but I am confident the hook and loop won’t otherwise undo). In theory, children can outgrow allergens. If you were to purchase the food specific patches, I think it is nice to have the option to pull a patch off and replace it if your child’s list changes. I plan to add an asthma patch to our collection as well. Given asthma can increase the severity of anaphylaxis, I want to make sure that is clearly communicated.
Going right along with the shirt, I knew I had to have this decal. I don’t actually have it on my car though. I live in a state with a mud season. My daily commute involves a dirt road. My car is DIRTY. It didn’t feel right to put a sticker for such an important cause on a car knowing that it would soon end up covered in dirt. That said, this is proudly displayed in my cube at work. It’s a great positive reminder for me on days where I am overwhelmed by our food allergy journey. It also spreads awareness in our office. See above statement about talking to anyone and everyone about our experiences with food allergies. I’m working on learning when to STOP talking. Thanks for bearing with me, coworkers!
I am really loving this prevention sticker from Show Your Teal. All of the stickers are high quality, durable, vinyl. We put the Medical Alert sticker on our new Planet Box as yet another way to make Ollie’s box stick out compared to his cousins’ or other childrens’ at his preschool. I haven’t quite decided how we are going to use the Do Not Feed sticker. At the moment, our house is free of all of Ollie’s allergens at all times. If this were not the case, I would 100% have this sticker on a bin high up in our pantry that contained allergenic foods.