Peanut allergy bracelets or peanut allergy jewelry is probably the last thing on anybody's mind when dealing with moderate to severe peanut allergies. After all, bracelets, necklaces and anklets may not seem to serve any purpose beyond being decorative. However, when it comes to a chronic condition like a peanut allergy, being quickly identified as having this medical condition is often necessary.
This is why peanut allergy bracelets are often worn. They are not just to inform anyone about the wearer's health status, but also to alert people, such as rescuers, first-aid staff and medical professionals of the appropriate action to perform when the wearer is involved in an emergency.
Knowledge Can Save a Life
When peanut allergic people were first encouraged to wear peanut allergy bracelets, some people were not very supportive of getting "tagged" as peanut allergic. However, the fact that the bracelets were medical alert tags and could help save a life in an emergency quickly showed why it was a necessity. Today, even with modern technology, it still is.
Peanut allergy requires special medical care and attention. Peanuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn’t imagine. Peanuts aren't actually a true nut; they're a legume (in the same family as peas and lentils). But the proteins in peanuts are similar in structure to those in tree nuts. For this reason, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts. Signs and symptoms of peanut allergy range from mild to severe and can include wheezing, vomiting, hives and digestive problems. Peanut allergy can also cause anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening reaction, which requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis may begin with some of the same symptoms as a less severe reaction, but then quickly worsen, leading someone to have trouble breathing, feel lightheaded, or to pass out.
In some emergencies, the peanut-allergic person may not always be able to speak or communicate. He or she may even be completely unresponsive. Furthermore, an emergency may occur when a relative or a friend who has knowledge about the allergic person's peanut allergy may not be around. In these cases, a peanut allergic bracelet can silently inform the attending medical personnel of the disease and what may have brought on the attack.
Preparing for a Peanut Allergy Emergency
Peanut allergy can be a tricky condition to have, primarily because so many products contain peanuts, even those which may not seem like they would. People with peanut allergies should carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) at all times. But in the event you are unable to communicate your needs in an emergency, or administer the injection yourself, a peanut allergy bracelet could make the difference in getting the treatment you need.
Always ensure that you or your loved one is wearing a peanut allergy bracelet at all times and especially before leaving the house. If necessary, pack an extra bracelet during special trips, particularly if you will be travelling alone or will be leaving town for a long period of time. Always wear the bracelet where it can be spotted easily and avoid taking it off. Great new designs won’t cramp your style and it can mean the difference between living a healthy life and suffering major medical consequences.