Parents can’t keep an eye on their children every minute of every day. And most wouldn’t want to even if they could—let’s face it, parents need breaks now and then! But for the parents of children with severe allergies, being away from their kids is often fraught with anxiety. Even experienced caregivers may overlook food or contact allergies when parents are not around to remind them. And small children cannot be expected to advocate for themselves when it comes to their dietary restrictions.
Allerware products are one great solution to the problem of keeping adults informed about child allergies. Like medical alert bracelets and necklaces, Allerware items alert adults about a child’s dietary restrictions or other allergies. However, unlike medical alert jewelry, Allerware items cannot be easily removed by kids. Furthermore, Allerware items are designed to be fun for kids in addition to being informative.
On Allerware products, different allergies are illustrated by cartoon characters that cheerfully portray the restricted food item or other allergen. A bright red lobster holds up a sign that says “No Shellfish,” while two grinning peas in a pod declare “No Soy.” The other common allergies each get their own adorable character as well.
Allerware’s bracelets are comfortable and light-weight, and the company also sells temporary tattoos and durable stickers for children who prefer not to wear anything around their wrists. A serious allergy is no laughing matter, but Allerware products help adults to focus on the serious issues while encouraging kids with allergies to see the fun side of staying safe.
An Allergy Mom Is Inspired to Help as Many Children as Possible
Marci Komssi, allergy mom and founder of Allerware, was originally inspired by her own experiences raising a child with severe tree nut and peanut allergies. “But as I met more and more children with life-threatening allergies, they also became my inspiration,” Komssi said. “I wanted to help young children who could not advocate for themselves.”
She first came up with the idea for Allerware when her son was only 18 months old. She hired an illustrator to help design the characters for each type of allergy, but then the project stalled for eight years. “I put everything away in the back of my closet, too afraid of the next steps,” Komssi said.
However, after a taking a business planning course aimed specifically at women, Komssi found the courage to make her vision a reality. After eleven months of hard work, Allerware launched its products online in May of 2015 for Food Allergy Awareness Month.
Since Allerware opened for business, its bracelets, stickers and tattoos have all become strong sellers. In addition, Allerware sells garden flags that customers can plant in their front yards to alert visitors about the presence of allergies.
The temporary tattoos are Komssi’s personal favorites. “They come in so handy!” she said. “You can keep one in your diaper bag, purse or anywhere and put the tattoo on your child’s hand when a quick reminder is needed.”
Customers Praise Ease of Use and Response From Kids
The responses from customers have been very positive during Allerware’s first months of business. “One mom sent me several emails telling me how much she loved the ease of the products and that her son loved the characters,” Komssi said. Another happy mom wrote, “My kids are tattoo crazy, so they really liked the tattoos. I like that they’re accepted by the kids, easy to apply and they stayed on for a long time (several days).”
In addition to featuring the most common childhood food allergies on their various products, Allerware has recently added products for penicillin and latex allergies. The company is also excited to add decals for home and car windows to its product line.
A Strong Commitment to the Childhood Allergy Community
Komssi’s involvement in the childhood food allergy community does not end with Allerware. She is an active member of several online support groups and runs the Central Mass Parents of Children With Food Allergies Support Group. In addition, Komssi is the social media manager for Gina Clowes’ Facebook page, AllergyMoms.
As a consumer, Komssi has become a big fan of AllergyEats, an online guide to allergy-friendly restaurants throughout the country. AllergyEats even has a mobile app to help allergy-conscious people and families find meals no matter where they are. “We’ve been traveling a lot in the past few months,” Komssi said, “and their website and app are a must for me.”
Find Allerware Products Online and at Allergy Expos
Allerware products can be purchased online at www.allerware.com, and in person at select Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Expos. On October 3rd and 4th, Allerware will be at an expo in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Komssi and Allerware are happy to offer a discount to the friends of MKFA. Readers who enter the code MKFA1 will currently receive a discount of 25 percent off their purchases.