Give the Gift of Peace of Mind this year with Medical ID under $30!

Give the Gift of Peace of Mind this year with Medical ID under $30!

Nov15_Gift30Are you still wondering what to get that special person in your life? Whether it is a close family member or a good friend, giving the gift of an engraved medical ID for Christmas really says you care! American Medical ID now has a special gift ideas page where every product is under $30, engraving is absolutely free, and, if you order now, will be delivered in time for Christmas!

Who should wear a medical ID?

If you have ongoing medical conditions, drug or food allergies, or are taking multiple medicines, you should wear a medical ID alert – we offer medical bracelets for women and medical bracelets for men alike.  An engraved medical ID bracelet or necklace presenting a concise overview of your conditions, allergies and medicines will alert a doctor or medic before starting treatment.  Informing medical personnel about your unique medical conditions and needs will greatly aid pre-hospital care.

Why is it important?

  • In an emergency, when you might not be able to speak for yourself, a medical ID bracelet or necklace speaks for you.
  • Symptoms of common ailments can easily be misdiagnosed. Prompt diagnosis is critical to effective treatment. A brief description of vital medical facts engraved on your medical ID ensures appropriate and timely medical care.
  • According to a published study, half of all medical errors occur because of mistakes made upon admission or discharge from the hospital. Wearing a medical ID protects against potentially harmful medical errors.
  • More than 95 percent of emergency responders look for a medical ID; more than 75 percent check for a medical ID immediately upon assessing the patient. If you`re wearing a medical ID, it won’t be missed.
  • Medical IDs can eliminate trips to the hospital, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and prevent minor emergencies from becoming major ones. Medical IDs save lives! One day, a medical ID may save you.

Meet Buckshot Bob, the Type 1 Diabetes Medical ID Bracelet for Kids

Nov13_ChildBraceletAmerican Medical ID is now offering an adorable and functional medical ID bracelet for young children with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes in children is a condition in which your child’s pancreas no longer produces the insulin your child needs to survive, and you’ll need to replace the missing insulin. Type 1 diabetes in children used to be known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.

The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in children can be overwhelming at first. Suddenly, you and your child — depending on his or her age — must learn how to give injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood sugar.

Although type 1 diabetes in children requires consistent care, advances in blood sugar monitoring and insulin delivery have improved the daily management of type 1 diabetes in children.

The American Diabetes Association recommends all persons with diabetes have a medical ID with you at all times.  Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person’s full medical record, such as the fact that they have diabetes and use insulin. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID.

Health Insurance: Protections for People with Diabetes

Nov11_DiabetesCostsThe Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, includes a number of changes to improve access to health insurance for individuals and families and make coverage more affordable.  Some parts of the law are already in place and people with diabetes are already benefiting from them, while many other protections go into effect in 2014.

The following information excerpted from the American Diabetes Association website.  For the complete article, click here.

Protections Already in Effect

  • Coverage for Children: Job-based plans and new individual plans cannot deny children coverage because of diabetes or any other pre-existing condition.
  • Coverage for Young Adults: Young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance plan until age 26 as long as the policy covers dependents.
  • Free Preventive Care: Most health plans are required to provide certain health services aimed at preventing disease at no charge. This includes diabetes screenings for adults with high blood pressure; cholesterol screenings; obesity screening and counseling; diabetes screening for pregnant women; and some preventive services for children. Certain preventive services are also free for people with Medicare, including medical nutrition therapy for people with diabetes and an annual wellness visit to develop (or update) a personal prevention plan.
  • No Lifetime Dollar Limits on Coverage: Health insurance plans cannot set a dollar limit on the amount the insurance company will spend on “essential health benefits” over the course of the time a person is enrolled in that plan.
  • Limits on Drug Costs for People with Medicare: Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs that put them in the coverage gap (also called “donut hole”) get a 52.5% discount on covered brand-name drugs while in the gap in 2013 and 2014.  Additional savings will occur each year for people in the gap until 2020, when the coverage gap won’t exist anymore.
  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage: Individuals have the right to get a plain language summary (called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage, or SBC) of a health plan’s benefits to help them better understand the plan’s coverage and compare plans. Plans must provide the SBC when a person is shopping for coverage, when there is a major change in benefits, or anytime a person asks for it. The SBC must include a general coverage example for managing type 2 diabetes. This example provides a snapshot of how much the plan might pay for medical care for a sample patient with type 2 diabetes. The example will not estimate your specific costs for managing your diabetes, but will help in comparing different plans.  Individuals can also ask for a copy of a glossary of terms used in health coverage. People who don’t speak English may be able to get the SBC and glossary in their native language upon request.

Protections Effective in 2014

  • Coverage for People with Diabetes: Starting in 2014, job-based plans and new individual plans aren’t allowed to deny coverage, charge more, or refuse to cover treatments due to a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes.
  • New Health Insurance Marketplaces: Starting October 1, 2013, a new Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) will be available in every state where individuals, families, and small businesses can buy health insurance. Plans in the Marketplace must meet certain requirements for benefits, consumer protections, and cost to the consumer. Coverage bought in a Marketplace will be eeffective as early as January 1, 2014. Initial open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013 and ends on March 31, 2014 and there will be a yearly open enrollment period every fall. Trained individuals called “Navigators” will be available to help individuals understand their coverage options and the enrollment process. Assistance will be available in-person, over the phone, and online, and will be available in multiple languages. For more information on the Marketplace and Navigators in your state, call 1-800-318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov.  The American Diabetes Association also has a fact sheet on the new Marketplaces available at www.diabetes.org/HealthInsuranceMarketplaces or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383).
  • Financial Assistance: Financial assistance to make health insurance more affordable in the new Marketplace will be available for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements and do not qualify for a affordable job-based coverage or certain other types of coverage.
  • Medicaid Expansion: It is up to each state to decide whether to extend Medicaid eligibility to people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level (approximately $15,856.20 for an individual and $32,499 for a family of four in 2013.)
  • Essential Health Benefits: A minimum set of “essential health benefits” like hospitalization, prescription drugs, preventive services, and chronic disease management must be covered in all new individual and small group plans (including all plans sold in the new Marketplace) starting in 2014.  •••••Tip: The specific benefits and what you pay within these categories of services can vary by state and by plan. When shopping for health insurance, it is important to ask if the plan covers the diabetes supplies, services, and prescription medications you need, and what it costs.
  • No Annual Dollar Limits on Essential Health Benefits: Most health plans cannot set a dollar limit on what they spend on “essential health benefits” for an individual’s care during a given year.

Other Changes Coming in 2014

Starting in January 2014, most individuals must have health insurance that is considered “minimum essential coverage” or qualify for an exemption. Otherwise, the individual will owe a tax penalty during the following year. Plans purchased in the Health Insurance Marketplaces as well as job-based coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, state Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), TRICARE and the Veterans health care program, and certain other coverage meet this requirement. If health insurance
is not considered a affordable for an individual, that person will qualify for an exemption from the tax penalty. Learn more about the new individual requirement at www.healthcare.gov.

Where To Find More Information

  • For more information about these insurance protections and programs, call 1-800-318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov.
  • For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace and Navigators in your state, call 1-800-318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov. Assistance is available in multiple languages by calling 1-800-318-2596. The American Diabetes Association also has a fact sheet on the new Marketplaces available at www.diabetes.org/HealthInsuranceMarketplaces or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383).
  • You can also contact your state’s Department of Insurance for information about insurance requirements and consumer protections in your state. Information for state insurance departments is available at: www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm.
  • Some states have Consumer Assistance Programs offering direct help to individuals with problems or questions about their health insurance. These programs also help you file an appeal when an insurance claim is denied. Find out if your state has a consumer assistance program here: www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-consumer-help-if-i-have-insurance/.

Thank you to the American Diabetes Association for providing this detailed synopsis.

 

Diabetes Myths and the Real Truth

As part of our annual coverage of American Diabetes Month, we’d like to play myth busters with the help of our friends at InsidersHealth.com.  Here are some common diabetes myths and the real truth behind them.

Searching for Facts vs. Fiction - Magnifying GlassFact or Fiction: 5 Common Diabetes Myths and the Real Truth Behind Them

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that 1 in 10 adults have diabetes and more and more people are being diagnosed daily.  If the current trend continues in just a few short decades the number will soar to 1 in 3 adults.

Yes, 33 percent of adults would have this debilitating – and sometimes deadly – disease.

These are truly alarming statistics especially when you look at the facts:

  • Diabetes is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and various neuropathies.
  • More than 220,000 Americans die from diabetes complications each year.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.

With this kind of harsh reality, the myths shrouding diabetes – and there are many – only add to the alarm and confusion surrounding what is already a pressing concern for a number of individuals.  The following will shed some light on 5 of the most common myths about diabetes.

Myth #1: Only older people have to worry about type-2 diabetes. 

Not at all.  As a matter of fact, the recent sharp rise in reported cases among children has prompted many experts to brand the phenomena as an epidemic.  Not long ago type-1 diabetes was considered the only type to be concerned about.  But now upwards of 45% of new diabetes cases in children are type-2. This diagnosis seems to go hand in hand with the rising obesity problem among our nation’s youth.

Myth #2: Diabetes is always and only controlled with insulin.  

While it’s true that type-1 diabetes requires insulin injections for proper management, smart food choices are also necessary to lessen the chances of runaway blood sugar levels. Type-2 diabetes can be controlled largely with a healthy diet and exercise, and insulin injections may not be necessary at all.

Myth #3: Carefully following a diabetes management plan ensures your blood glucose is always under control.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Type-2 diabetes is fickle.  Aging, stress, infections, other illnesses all can throw a monkey wrench into management plans.  But with diligence there will be far more consistent “good” readings and fewer occasional “bad” ones.

Myth #4: Diabetes requires a rigid, bland diet.  

While the diabetes diet does impose restrictions, that doesn’t mean people with diabetes are doomed to eat cardboard the rest of their lives.  It’s mostly a matter of controlling the amount of fat and calories consumed so that glucose levels don’t spike.  The focus should be on healthy carbohydrates and fats, fiber-rich foods, and lean proteins.  Something we should all direct our focus on anyway.

Myth #5: Being overweight leads to diabetes.  

Not always. There are plenty of overweight individuals who don’t have it.  Obesity, on the other hand, is one of the major risk factors.  A body mass index of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Right now there is no cure for type-1 diabetes but there are certainly steps anyone can take to drastically lower their chances of developing type-2.  The two biggest steps include lifestyle changes with regards to diet and exercise.

Once America, and indeed the world, tackles its obesity problem there will almost certainly be a drop in the alarming trends which are now underway.  An equally important step involves education, separating fact from fiction, and being proactive when it comes to maintaining your health

The American Diabetes Association recommends all persons with diabetes have a medical ID with you at all times.  Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person’s full medical record, such as the fact that they have diabetes and use insulin. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID.

Diabetes: Knowing the basics

Nov6_DiabetesBasicsDiabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin.  Not sure what that means? This is the place to find out.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.  In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose),  starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.  Through multiple daily injections with insulin pens or syringes or an insulin pump, it will be up to you to monitor your blood glucose levels and appropriately administer your insulin.  You will need to work closely with your healthcare team to determine which insulin or insulins are best for you and your body.  Click here to learn more about Type 1 Diabetes.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.  In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.   When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body.  Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells.

When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:

  • Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
  • Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others.  Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.  Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes here.

Gestational

Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies.

We don’t know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.

Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.  Read more about Gestational Diabetes here.

Learn More About Diabetes:

Other Helpul Links:

The American Diabetes Association recommends all persons with diabetes have a medical ID with you at all times.  Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person’s full medical record, such as the fact that they have diabetes and use insulin. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID.

Information found herein courtesy of American Diabetes Association.

So you just found out you have diabetes? Diabetes Diagnosis: Getting the News

When newly diagnosed with diabetes, most people find themselves in a state of shock.  However, being diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t prevent you from leading a ‘normal’ life.

The following tips are reposted from the American Diabetes Association website.

Nov4_DiabetesDiagnosisTake a deep breath.

Preparing your mind for your journey with diabetes is one of the best first steps to take.

Being told you have diabetes, or that there is a problem with your blood sugar level can cause quite a bit of stress — and rightly so.

Diabetes is scary.

Denial, Guilt, Anger

You may have read headlines about what can go wrong or witnessed firsthand the negative effects of uncontrolled diabetes.

Maybe you have been in denial that anything is wrong. That’s OK.  Denial protects and buffers you from difficult or shocking information.

Do you feel guilty? Like you caused diabetes?

If so, your first assignment is to stop the blame game and get on your own side.

Anger, too, is a common reaction and is often the first sign that you acknowledge that something is wrong. It is never too late to jump-start your diabetes self-management program.

The key is to be gentle with yourself because you are your best resource for managing your diabetes.

Diabetes is never convenient, but with some effort and help from the experts, it is manageable.  It is important that you acknowledge this.  How you perceive this diagnosis will greatly affect how successfully your diabetes is managed.

Learn to Laugh

As strange as it sounds, learning to laugh can help.

Your thoughts and feelings have an enormous impact on your body. Positive thoughts do have positive physical effects.

Humor is a useful tool in helping manage diabetes by adding perspective—not that there is anything funny about having diabetes.  But a little humor may help you see from a different perspective.  Humor can help you build the confidence to know that you can deal with diabetes.  Plus, laughing lowers glucose levels!

Focus on Positives

Let’s focus on something positive about your diabetes diagnosis. Feel free to repeat the following to yourself:

  • “I can follow my dreams and passions.”
  • “Diabetes stinks, but I can manage it.”
  • “I am not alone.  Millions of people are dealing with diabetes and thousands of health care professionals are fighting to make a difference in my life and the lives of others.”
  • “The feelings I have about diabetes—be it anger, depression, fear, eagerness to learn, or relief at finding out—are typical.  I have the strength to do something about my diabetes.”

You Are More Than Diabetes

Diabetes does not define you;  it’s just a small part of your complex being.  When it comes to diabetes, your treatment plan starts with being mentally prepared.

The American Diabetes Association recommends all persons with diabetes have a medical ID with you at all times.  Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person’s full medical record, such as the fact that they have diabetes and use insulin. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID.

This article adapted from Your First Year with Diabetes: What to do, month by month, written by Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC_ADM, MSN, CDE, and published by the American Diabetes Association, ©2008.

 

November is American Diabetes Month

American Medical ID is a proud partner of the American Diabetes Association and supports the effort of American Diabetes Month to raise awareness of diabetes as a growing concern in the world.

American Diabetes Month 2013

Nov1_DiabetesOne of the American Diabetes Association’s primary objectives is to raise awareness and understanding of diabetes, its consequences, management and prevention of type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Month is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the people impacted by the disease. In 2012, the Association launched a socially focused initiative for American Diabetes Month called A Day in the Life of Diabetes, to demonstrate the impact diabetes has on our families and communities across the country.  In 2013, the American Diabetes Association will continue to grow the campaign with a host of online and offline program elements.

Theme: A Day in the Life of Diabetes

Diabetes doesn’t stop.  It is 24/7, 365 days a year.  To showcase the extraordinary effort it takes to live a day with the disease, the American Diabetes Association will continue to ask people to submit a personal image to the Association’s Facebook mosaic representing what A Day in the Life of Diabetes means to them. The image can be a picture of themselves or someone they care about, or otherwise represent how the disease impacts their lives. The image will then make up a larger mosaic image that will embody the message of A Day in the Life of Diabetes.

About Diabetes

Prevalence

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes.

The Toll on Health

  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.

The Cost of Diabetes

  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. Direct medical costs reach $176 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is 2.3 times higher than  those without the disease.  Indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).
  • One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
  • One in five health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.

Wear Your Medical ID

The American Diabetes Association recommends all persons with diabetes have a medical ID with you at all times. Medical IDs are usually worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Traditional IDs are etched with basic, key health information about the person, and some IDs now include compact USB drives that can carry a person’s full medical record, such as the fact that they have diabetes and use insulin. Emergency medical personnel are trained to look for a medical ID.

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Celebrating Halloween Without Seizures

As Halloween approaches, kids of all ages are busy feverishly selecting their latest Halloween costume, day dreaming about the endless supply of sugary goodness that awaits them, and deciding on how they are going to carve their pumpkin. And while the spirit of Halloween is in the air so too is the concern of parents of children with epilepsy on how best to keep their child safe while trick-or-treating as well as how to reduce the likelihood of seizures.

Re-posted from Epilepsy.com by Jenna Martin.  Click here for the full article.

Photosensitivity Epilepsy & Halloween Safety

Oct29_EpilepsyCindee Boller’s youngest daughter Megan, age 12, has photosensitive epilepsy which is triggered by visual stimuli. “Since her diagnosis several years ago we’ve been able to redirect Megan away from places where there are strobe lights such as haunted houses without really calling attention to it,” said Boller. “Our goal is to make sure she has fun on Halloween without feeling self-conscious about her epilepsy or fearful that she might have a seizure around her friends.” Boller admits that this Halloween may prove to be more difficult. “Megan is at the age where she wants to be more independent, which is completely healthy and normal. But, because she has epilepsy which can be triggered by any of a number of stimuli either my husband or I have to be there with her while she is trick-or-treating even if we follow the teenage rule of walking eighty paces behind.”

Megan’s Halloween spirit seems no less hampered by her avoidance of haunted houses or other flashing lights. With her close friends by her side and their awareness of her seizures and potential seizure triggers she feels more confident in her ability to trick-or-treat just like any other kid her age. “If there is a strobe light at one of the houses in our neighborhood my friends will understand that I can’t go to that house to trick-or-treat and we will go to the next house. It’s really not a big deal,” said Megan.

It’s All About the Candy, But What About Dietary Restrictions?

Children with epilepsy on the ketogenic diet or Modified Atkins diet have special dietary restrictions according to Dr. Eric Kossoff, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.  Both diets significantly restrict carbohydrates, and chocolate bars and other candy given out at Halloween are about as pure carbohydrates as you can buy.  The temptations of cheating can seem almost insurmountable to some parents and trick or treating might be completely avoided.

Kossoff knows all too well the challenges parents of children on these diets face during Halloween. “Many ketogenic diet centers will have special Halloween parties at the hospital or an outside location as it can be difficult for children. Also, many of our families at Johns Hopkins on both diets will make their own treats (keto-friendly) at home.” He also encourages parents to have non-food items as treats available at home such as games, toys, and money, thus taking food out of the fun factor equation.  “It’s always nice to start new Halloween family traditions, such as dressing up, watching scary movies as a family, and going to farms for pumpkin picking and hay rides.  Eating doesn’t have to be part of any of those activities.”

As a mother of a son on the Modified Atkins diet, Susan Littlefield has first-hand experience with using non-food items as treats on Halloween. “Our son actually goes trick-or-treating for candy and then we buy his candy from him and reward him with a new game that he wants. We also have a Halloween party each year which I think our son likes a whole lot more than candy, but every child is different.”

However parents of children with epilepsy on special diets choose to help celebrate Halloween, both Kossoff and Littlefield agree that candy is a big No-No.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips for Parents/Caregivers of Children with Epilepsy

  1. Make sure your child doesn’t forget medications that evening.
  2. Watch out for strobe lights if that’s a trigger for your child.
  3. Make sure your child either has a teenage “buddy” with them or you go with them – if a child has a seizure around other children trick-or-treating, they might be ignored with all the chaos and noise of the evening.
  4. Don’t stay out significantly later than your child’s bedtime.
  5. Make sure your teenager has a cell phone with them and someone is home to pick them up if they are trick-or-treating a distance that would be prohibitive to walk back.
  6. If your child is on the ketogenic or Atkins diet, it’s ok to get candy and dress up, but NOT to eat the candy without explicit permission.
  7. Make sure your child or teen wears their medical alert bracelet while trick-or-treating if they have one.
  8. Make sure your child is accompanied by someone who knows about your child’s seizures and what to do in case of a seizure emergency.

How American Medical ID Can Help

If you have epilepsy, you should be wearing a medical ID bracelet at all times – and it is especially important when you are traveling or just away from your home for a few hours. Medical personnel need to be immediately alerted to your condition so they can treat you as quickly and effectively as possible during an emergency. At a party or an event, you never know when you might be separated from family or friends who understand your condition, which makes a medical ID essential.  American Medical ID recommends engraving your epilepsy alert bracelet like this:

  • FIRST AND LAST NAME
  • EPILEPSY OR OTHER MEDICAL CONDITION
  • MEDICATIONS AND ALLERGIES
  • IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER
  • DR. TELEPHONE NUMBER

 

Do You Know About MyIHR?

myihrHas your doctor recommended getting a medical ID bracelet or necklace? Many of our medical ID bracelets have an optional add-on service called MyIHR or My Interactive Health Record. It solves a lot of problems when it comes to having your medical information available in an emergency. It’s secure and best of all, there are no recurring fees!

Here’s a comment from an actual MyIHR user:

“About one month after receiving my medical ID bracelet charm, and inputting my information into the MyIHR portal, I suffered a bad fall at home. My spouse was out of the country working, and I was alone.

I was able to call 911 for transport to a local emergency room. The ambulance attendants were “thrilled” when they saw all of my medications and they deemed my case could be very complicated.  I was able to tell them to not worry about gathering them all up, to just look up MyIHR on their computer in the ambulance.

With the username and password on the charm (it’s very tiny engraving!), they were able to input all the information into their system and advised me that mine was the first case ever that they had seen such a great way for those of us with fragile health to receive appropriate care without subjecting us to possibly dangerous medications.

My record is now in their system, should an ambulance ever be dispatched to my home in the future. At the hospital, the ER team was very happy to be given the same computer access and updated my file easily, and completely. I can’t stress enough that this works, and works well, especially for people with multiple health conditions or multiple medications.

Thanks for the MyIHR service!” – Randy

Making Halloween Enjoyable for Children with Autism

trick or treatWith a little preparation and forethought, your child with autism can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.  The Autism Society has compiled a list of great Halloween tips from their readers that we’d like to share (full article here).  As an added safety measure, always be sure your child is wearing a Medical ID.  American Medical ID features an array of medical alert jewelry for children and adults.

Your Tips for a Safe, Comfortable and Enjoyable Halloween

Trick-or-Treating:

Make a deal with neighbors to have their kids come for a ‘dress rehearsal’ day before. Your child can first practice answering the door and handing out candy to kids. Then switch and practice knocking and saying “trick or treat!”

The first two years of Halloween we just let our son dress up and walk up and down the street watching the other kids and looking at the decorations. Come our third Halloween, he went to knock on doors by himself and yelled “trick or treat” like a pro.

Be flexible, no expectations! Your child may be content stopping at five or six houses. Have quiet back up activities ready.

Be aware of which areas have displays with lots of gore and special effects so you can avoid them.

Discuss with the child safety tips for crossing the street, such as remembering to look both ways before crossing. The child may be over-stimulated from the change in schedule, so priming may be necessary.

Flashlights are a must.  My son carried one to help him see in the dark. It offered comfort and gave him a means of some control.

What helped my son most was watching children trick or treating on Youtube (Make sure you preview the video before your child sees it).

We always put plenty of glow sticks on my son in case we get separated at some of the more popular houses. You can purchase them at Wal-Mart in different shapes and colors. They make him feel more secure in the dark, too!

If your child is nonverbal, or not very verbal, make sure he or she wears some kind of identifying bracelet – it can even be part of the costume if done cleverly.

We practice trick-or-treating at our own house. Then he knows what to expect on Halloween night.

Take a route familiar to your child. Avoid homes decorated with flashing lights and loud sounds that may trigger sensory reactions. Review the day’s events when winding down. Discuss any fears about something seen or heard. Reassure him of your love and protection.

It’s a good idea to get a buddy that will make sure your child knows where he or she is going.

 

Collecting and Handing Out Candyhalloween-candy-in-bowl-590

Plan now for how you will handle candy consumption. A gluten or dairy intolerance may not be an issue with Halloween treats, but food dyes and sugar may wreak havoc with any child. Decide the candy-eating rules in advance and write them down.

After Halloween, watch the doors extra closely. My son escaped for the first time on November 1 along with his plastic pumpkin bucket from the night before.  A neighbor alerted us that he was going from house to house on his own.

When no longer appropriate to trick or treat, my son was given the honor of giving out treats to kids who came to our door. To “sweeten” the deal, each time someone came to our house he could add a piece of candy to a bowl reserved for him.

Trick or treating is too hard for my son, so I have him answer the doorbell instead when trick or treaters come.  I have taught him to open the door, take candy out of the bowl and put one in each bag, say goodbye and close the door.

 

Costumes

In lieu of a costume, try a Halloween T-shirt. There are screen-printed ones that look like Dracula’s tuxedo, complete with a jeweled medallion. There are also big orange T-shirts with a jack-o-lantern faces.

Pick a costume that may require a little face paint and is not too big or uncomfortable. Try to use a child’s own clothing. Definitely no masks or hats that might be distracting, irritating or uncomfortable to their senses.

I’m an adult who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Something I did as a kid was make sure I knew what costume I was going to wear at least four days in advance and try it on a few times. It’s also good to have a buddy that will make sure your child knows where he or she is going.

 

Themed Events

My 20-year-old son is too old for trick-or-treating and not social enough for parties. But, he is a HUGE train fanatic and is looking forward to a “Train of Terror” in our hometown. Check your community for similar events.

We had a daytime party with a bouncy house and everyone dressed up in Halloween costumes. This was safe for all the kids and not too scary for our daughter. We felt good about her not missing this fun childhood tradition.