July 27, 2011

Product Review: Allergy Alert Stick Ons

This summer means Ryken's first summer camp, day trips (and most likely more eating out), weekend getaways, and preparation for the next school year.  For our family, the latter will be a new experience since Ryken will be attending a Spanish dual immersion.

As a safety measure Ryken already wears STATKids wristbands to alert people of his dairy and peanut allergies.  I really love how flashy they are but we've had some problems.  We have to make sure the bands don't get hidden under long sleeves or ignored because of the myriad of silicone wristbands and Silly Bandz that kids wear these days.  I decided I needed to invest in more allergy identification to improve our chances that people would take note of Ryken's allergies.  And with a student body and staff of English and Spanish speakers, I wanted to make sure I got allergy identification in both languages.

I came across Allergy Alert Stick Ons, a company based in Ontario, Canada.  With contrasting colors (red, white, black), large typeset and helpful graphics for the major allergens, the stickers looked like a helpful indicator for food allergies.  One of the examples shown on their website was a "No Nuts and No Dairy For Me" sticker (hey, perfect for Ryken!) that easily convinced me that this product was worth checking out.

I submitted an order request and got a prompt response from the very helpful Petra.  Petra sent me an electronic proof of the sticker for my review.  I mentioned to her how the visuals will be very helpful in Ryken's bilingual school.  It was at this time that Petra suggested we could create an alert sticker in Spanish.  We could do half of the order in English, and half in Spanish.  Right on!

Petra offered to find out the Spanish wording using an online translation program.  (Neither of us knows Spanish.)  I cross-checked what she came up with my husband's 4 years of Spanish, my own online research, and native Spanish-speaking friends and came up with some corrections.  The translation was lengthy.  I worried over how we could convey all the allergies without making the sticker a confusing mess.  Petra listened to my concerns and did an outstanding job with arranging the text so that everything fit and looked great.  All in all, it took more than a dozen emails, several mock-ups, and the help of my Spanish-speaking friend, Javiera, but I think I got what I wanted. 
Did you know there are three ways to say "peanuts" in Spanish? 

I wondered if I could adjust the graphic to make the tree nuts a little more prominent (the peanuts are much larger than the tree nuts if you check out the sticker in English).  The ever-helpful Petra said this was no problem and, as you can see, she adjusted according to my request.

The stickers took two weeks to arrive (from Canada, remember?).  When I opened them, they were exactly as I had seen in the final proofs, only bigger and better!  The bigger the sticker, the better at being seen!  The stickers were nearly 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.  Okay, so it does say on the website that the stickers are 3"x3".  But the site's examples have been slightly reduced in size to fit the site's format so I was expecting something a little smaller.

I highly recommend that you check out Allergy Alert Stick Ons especially if your kids have multiple food allergies or need a translation.  The company's service is excellent, you get to see your product as a proof so you will know exactly what you're getting, and the final product is first-rate.  The stickers are sold in packs of 30 for $12.50, which I think is a great price considering that the stickers are customized according to your needs. I do recommend that if you would like your sticker translated into another language that you consult with native-speaking friends to make sure you've got the message right.  Using online translations have their limits!

When you're ordering, feel free to let them know Irene from GetAllergywise sent you.  And don't forget to share a photo of your personalized stickers with us!

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