Ollergy is almost two 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.”
We’re running a giveaway together for Food Allergy Awareness Week. Head over to Instagram to find out how you can win an AMAZING package of products (customized to meet your family’s needs) from Show Your Teal. I recently purchased a shirt and they sent a number of other goodies for me to review. Here’s what I think so far:
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’ll be wearing it for a Food Allergy Awareness Week storytime during #TealTakeover with some perfectly matching teal pants I already own. Everyone that comes to the library will know just how much food allergy awareness means to me. Pictures to come!
This will be put to use for the first time at a graduation party this weekend. I have four cousins graduating from high school or college; this is what happens when your mom is one of nine kids. There will be a lot of people present that don’t know Ollie and his allergies. We will bring wipes and ask people to wipe up after eating, but I’ll also put this button on Ollie. At almost three, he’s fast approaching the independent stage. If it is a nice day, I know he’ll want to be outside playing with cousins. The button is a subtle but clear reminder of his allergies. It gives peace of mind so we don’t have to hover over him every second of the event.
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’ll be 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!
All three patches are going 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 on weekends. 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. It’s 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.
I haven’t quite decided how I want to use these prevention stickers from Show Your Teal. They are high quality, durable, vinyl stickers. Once I place them, they’ll be there for good, which is why I want to be sure of how they’ll work best for our family. I think my plan is to put a Medical Alert sticker on our new Planet Box (post coming soon on how much I LOVE this) as yet another way to make Ollie’s box stick out compared to his cousin’s or other children at his preschool next year. I believe we are going to save the Do Not Feed sticker for preschool next year. 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.