Alternative IDs for Children Who Don’t Want to Wear a Medical Bracelet

Alternative IDs for Children

Children who have chronic medical conditions or communication differences can benefit greatly from wearing a medical ID. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that anyone with a medical condition have a medical ID on them for first responders in an emergency. So, as a proactive parent, you may have decided to protect your child by providing them with alternative IDs. 

The first type of medical ID most people think of is a medical bracelet. But you may have some questions and concerns about your child wearing one. What if they aren’t used to wearing a bracelet? What if sensory challenges make wearing something new really uncomfortable for them? Will having them wear a medical ID be confusing or scary for them, especially if they don’t fully understand the reasons?

Fortunately, there are many alternative IDs to a medical ID bracelet, and you don’t have to sacrifice safety to use them. MedicAlert’s globally recognized symbol for medical emergencies is available on several styles of MedicAlert IDs. No matter which one you choose, you can have confidence that MedicAlert will be your child’s voice if they aren’t able to communicate to a first responder in an emergency. 

With a medical ID from MedicAlert, you also have the option of membership in a Protection Plan. This offers further benefits to help ensure all your child’s critical information is available anytime, anywhere. By using alternative IDs and enrolling in a Protection Plan, your child’s digital health profile and an Emergency Response Team are accessible to first responders 24/7. It’s another way MedicAlert can be there for your child even if you aren’t with them in an emergency.

What are the different types of Medical IDs?

Now that you know there are several great choices for a medical ID besides a medical bracelet, you just have to decide which one is the best fit for your child. Every child is different, and there are a few things that will affect your choices. Consider these factors:

  • The age of your child- very young children may not be able to safely wear a necklace, for example, or be able to keep items like a bracelet on without removing them. For these children, a medical ID that attaches to clothing or other items may be a better choice.
  • Your child’s level of understanding- autistic children with communication differences or children with developmental delays may not reliably understand the importance of wearing a medical ID. They may benefit from an alternative style of ID as well.
  • Your child’s personal style- your child may have their own unique style when it comes to their appearance. A medical ID isn’t an exception to this, and their preferences when it comes to the look of the ID you choose should be considered, especially for older children who can participate in choosing one.
  • Any sensory challenges- if you have experienced sensory challenges yourself, you know how disruptive and distracting they can be. Children with sensory challenges cannot physically tolerate certain sensations, and that can include wearing a medical ID. It’s important to respect this by finding a medical ID that doesn’t cause sensory challenges for your child.

To meet these different needs, MedicAlert IDs offer something for every child:

  • Necklaces- available in several styles and finishes including gold, stainless steel, and titanium
  • Smart IDs- when paired with a Protection Plan membership, these IDs use QR code technology to share your child’s digital health profile with first responders
  • Medical ID for Apple watch- engineered to slide right on a silicone Apple watch band and a great choice for kids who love technology
  • Shoe accessories- the ability to attach these to shoe laces or velcro closures makes them an ideal medical ID for anyone with sensory challenges
  • Wallet cards- a classic option that can be filled out with written details, and is also available in the Smart ID format
  • Seat belt holder- attaches to a seat belt, backpack, bicycle or any other creative option with velcro closure and can hold a Smart ID or wallet card

See MedicAlert’s selection of medical IDs here.

Do first responders look for medical IDs other than bracelets?

You may be wondering if first responders will even see a medical ID that is not a bracelet. The answer to this is a resounding yes. In an emergency first responders are trained to look for all medical IDs.

MedicAlert provides training for first responders as well, to familiarize them with the many styles of medical ID they may encounter. And because MedicAlert has been saving lives since inventing medical IDs 65 years ago, a MedicAlert ID is easily recognizable.

How does a Smart ID work?

If you are familiar with QR code technology, you know that QR codes are found everywhere and are a great way to access more detailed information about something. MedicAlert’s Smart IDs use this proven technology to provide your child’s medical conditions, allergies, medications, and more to first responders in an emergency. They are easily scannable with a smartphone camera and include an emergency phone number that is staffed 24/7 as well.

You can opt for either a Smart Medical ID card or a MedicAlert ICE tag. The Smart Medical ID card can be kept in a wallet or seat belt holder. MedicAlert ICE tags are water and weatherproof vinyl stickers that adhere to any hard surface- allowing endless possibilities for multiple tag locations such as phone cases, mobility aids, and more. Using multiple ICE tags this way means you can always be sure your child has one readily available.

With either option, you can count on the following features:

  • Ease of use– with Smart IDs, there’s nothing to remember to wear, since they can stay attached to items your child always has with them.
  • Proven QR technology– in use since 1994, QR or “Quick Response” codes are the perfect tool for sharing complex details related to medical history and contact information.
  • Instant updates of any new medical information– when critical medical information such as new prescriptions or allergies needs to be included in your child’s medical ID, the health profile associated with the Smart ID can be updated instantly. This ensures fast and accurate care in an emergency.

Read more about MedicAlert’s Smart IDs here.

How can I use the Seat Belt Holder for my child?

MedicAlert’s seat belt holder is another great option for anyone who might not want to wear a medical ID. Its bright red body is labeled with the clear instructions “medical ID inside” and the easily recognizable MedicAlert logo. Even better, you can slip a Smart Medical ID into the pocket of the seat belt holder. The velcro closure on the holder means it can go over many items your child uses every day: a backpack strap, bicycle, mobility aid, and more.

Take a closer look at the seat belt holder here.

If I have a MedicAlert ID, do I need a protection plan?

Membership in MedicAlert’s Protection Plans is optional, however, if you are using a Smart ID you’ll need to link one to this type of ID. This is because Protection Plans allow you to build a digital health profile for your child that contains all the information a first responder would need in an emergency.

With a Protection Plan, your child’s medical history, medications, allergies, vaccinations, and more are available through the Emergency Response Team and digital health profile 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to any first responder that needs it. You can also choose to include valuable information like emergency contact information so you can be by your child’s side faster in an emergency.

The combination of a MedicAlert ID with a Protection Plan offers the ultimate benefit to your child in an emergency where every second counts. And for convenient organization, you can also use the printable health profile for medical appointments. Additional optional features like reliable storage of medical documents such as device instructions offers even more convenience for your busy life.

In addition, if you’re concerned about the possibility of your child wandering and getting lost, 24/7 wandering support with a MedicAlert Protection Plan will help you work with local authorities to ensure your child is safely reunited with you.

You can read more about MedicAlert’s Protection Plans here.

Choosing an alternative medical ID is a great solution for children who don’t want to wear a bracelet.

As you can see, there are plenty of great options to ensure your child is able to use a medical ID no matter what their needs are. With over 4 million lives saved, MedicAlert has consistently proven that you can enjoy your life without worrying about unforeseen emergencies. A MedicAlert ID in any style is reliably there for your child 24/7, even at times you can’t be with them. 

Sources: AAFP Medical Identification, Mobile QR Codes