Any parent who has ever taken a small kid to a large zoo, amusement park, museum, or who just has a reason to fear their kid might make a mad dash or decide to play hide-and-seek in public, has worried about what would happen if you got separated from the child. Fear and stress can make grown-ups forget important phone numbers, sometimes a lost child has trouble with their own name.
Now imagine your child has an allergy or other medical condition that causes worry. Perhaps your child is older but still non-verbal or is otherwise unable to communicate with strangers.
No matter what their age or abilities, we want our children to have the opportunity to fully experience the world. How to do that, and still keep them safe?
Sure, you can pin a note inside their clothes, or put your business card in their shoe, but the likelihood of those bits of paper getting torn, wet, or just discarded is pretty high. And while we can microchip our pets, unless you’re a secret British Agent like James Bond, implanting a tracking device in a person is frowned upon.
What you really need is to tattoo your contact info on their arm.
Which is where the makers of SafetyTat have stepped in with a line of products designed to help parents feel a little more secure. In addition to a wide assortment of customizable water-applied tats, SafetyTat has introduced a line of peel and stick write-on tats that can last up for over a week. They use a proprietary material called Tateck®, which feels similar to a waterproof bandaid, only thicker.
The beauty of this product is the ease of use, and the convenience of the packaging. The Multi-pack I received to test had 6 tats, a marker for writing on the tat, 6 alcohol prep pads (to clean the skin before application), along with both directions and some suggested safety tips. They are applied by sticking on the child’s skin, and then holding them down for about 30 seconds before writing on them.
While there is a great variety of featured avatars available in for the write-on tats, all but comes with the standard “if LOST please call:” and then a blank line for a phone number. There is one style available which simple states “ALLERGY ALERT” and has a larger area to write in. Over all, they are very cute, and did help to ease my mind when my children were wearing them.
While I think the product is great, and both my daughter and I found the tats to be comfortable, my son was not a fan and couldn’t tolerate wearing the tat for too long. Full disclosure, he has sensory aversions, anything from clothing tags and sock seams, to the standard water-applied temporary tattoos or even stickiness on his hands can become irritating. He wanted to pick at it immediately, although he eventually left it alone for maybe 3 hours. It would have been much less if had not been distracted by the movie we went to see, as immediately after we left the theater he was begging me to take it off.
I really like this concept, particularly as we are headed off for multiple vacations this summer. So I’ve been experimenting with a few DIY methods I found:
If you have markers or pens that are safe for skin, you write on the child’s inner arm. After the marker has dried, cover it with a liquid bandage or clear nail polish. (FYI: I found suggestions for using permanent markers, but I’m not too keen on that, really.) Alternately, use a basic eyeliner pencil, and then cover that with clear nail polish or liquid skin.
My personal preference is for the eyeliner/nail polish combo. Very thin, flexible, water resistant, virtually no odor. Not to mention everything you need is at the local drug store. It won’t hold up nearly as long, of course. However my son wasn’t immediately picking at it, so that would be a big plus for us.
In the end, it comes down to what works for you and what your child will tolerate. My daughter was delighted to have a cute appliqué, and happily wore it for days. I can tuck the SafetyTat kit into my purse and I’m ready should we find ourselves in a crowded place where safety is a concern. One less thing to worry about.
Disclosure: SafetyTat provided UrbanMommies with a 6-pack of write-on tat product, however the opinions expressed are based entirely upon my experiences.