To understand why people would wear medical alert jewelry, we first need to understand what it is and the purpose that it serves. In 1956 an American couple, Dr M. Collins and Mrs Chrissie Collins, who almost lost their daughter due to an allergy to a horse serum used in a routine tetanus antitoxin test, formed the MedicAlert Foundation, which acts as a repository for vital medical information contained on medic alert jewelry such as medical alert necklaces and medic alert bracelets.
This life-saving information is tied to a 24 hour phone line which medical personnel or first respondents can call in order to get further information which can save the wearer’s life. The MedicAlert head office is based in Turlock, California, U.S.A. and has international affiliates in nine countries members in excess of 4 million members. This type of medical alert jewelry has saved countless lives over the years as it informs medical personnel of any pre-existing conditions or allergies so that they can attend to the patient safely and diligently.
Anyone who has a hidden medical condition, an allergy, any sort of implant, is on chronic medication, has expressed a wish to be an organ donor or has a living will should wear medic alert jewelry. There is no necessity to have any medical condition to wear medical alert jewelry though, and many people wear a medical alert bracelet, a medical alert necklace, or other type of medic alert jewelry so that they can record their blood group or to have a record of who should be contacted in case of an emergency, similar to the In Case of Emergency that medical and emergency respondents know to look for on a cellular phone.
Medical Reasons for wearing Medical Alert Jewelry
- Hidden Medical Conditions – these can include conditions such as diabetes, cardiac problems, sickle cell anemia, hypertension, general anemia or other blood disorders, or people who have a rare disease or blood type amongst others.
- Allergy Sufferers – anyone who has an allergy be it to bees, wasps, food or medication such as Penicillin, needs to wear some sort of medical alert jewelry.
- Implants – anyone with any type of implant such as a pacemaker, cochlea implants, hip or knee replacements, etcetera must wear a medic alert of some sort.
- Medication – those on anticoagulants or blood thinning medication such as Warfarin or any other chronic medicine or multiple medicines need to record this on medical alert necklaces, medical alert pendants, or some other form of medical alert jewelry.
- Breathing Disorders – those who suffer from emphysema have pulmonary conditions such as COPD or asthma need to wear some form of medic alert jewelry.
- Hearing, Mental or Visual Impairments – those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, memory impairments, Tourette’s Syndrome, Epilepsy and other seizure disorders must wear medical alert jewelry.
- Children – who have special needs such as those suffering from autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, endocrine disorders or other conditions must wear some type of medic alert jewelry.
- High Risk – those at risk for kidney failure or stroke should wear a medical alert pendant, medical alert necklace or some type of alert.
- Transplant Patients – who have had a bone-marrow transplant, and those who are being treated for blood-cancers need blood which has been treated with radiation – not wearing a medical alert could cost these patients their life!
- Other Reasons – those who have had gastric bypass surgery, surgery, cancer and those busy with clinical trials need to register for medic alert medical alert jewelry.
There are different Medical Alert Institutions today, and you can join any of them, but be wary of those who cannot give you the services that you need from such a service. Make sure that your information is confidential, and that they have a 24/7 emergency number which can be accessed by only Medical and Emergency Personnel when needed in an emergency situation. For those who do not wish to wear jewelry there are also USB flash drives which can be carried, and an invisible bracelet program.
The latest medical alert jewelry is far more advanced than the original MedicAlert bracelet and pendants of the late 50’s as it can provide far more information than just a few engraved words. The medic alert jewelry of today can direct first respondents to a toll-free phone number or a website, or generate a text message allowing them to access to the full medical and prescription history of a patient who may be unable to give that information themselves.
Types of Medical Alert Jewelry
Because so many people do not like to wear the old style original stainless steel medical alert necklaces, medical alert pendants and medic alert bracelets, jewelers and other manufacturers such as sporting-goods manufacturers have designed and are designing new and innovative medic alert jewelry and ways of wearing medical alerts on pendants, watches, bracelets, ankle bracelets and various other medical alert jewelry made from virtually any type of material which you can imagine.
Medical Alert Bracelets
Bracelets were the original medical alert jewelry, and will always be around, except that there are many different forms of such bracelets these days. Medical alert bracelets can be engraved with quite a bit of medical information, and they come in various forms, which is why they are still very popular medic alert jewelry.
Popular Medical ID Bracelets are
- Stainless Steel Bracelets – the original bracelet.
- Sterling Silver Medical ID Bracelets – elegant, unobtrusive and fine craftsmanship.
- Gold Medical Alert Bracelets – modern styles in the finest gold to fit in with your other jewelry.
- Swarovski Crystal Medical ID Bracelets – wear your medical alert jewelry with a sparkle!
- Waterproof Medical ID Bracelets – perfect for the sportsman or woman, or active child, these are adjustable and fully washable.
- Leather and Cotton Medical ID Bracelets – genuine leather cord or cotton, 3 strand braiding, sterling silver crimps and clasps, attach to your custom engraved medical alert tag.
- Silicone Flex ID Bracelets – a large or small stainless steel plate which affixes to light-weight, durable, interchangeable silicone bands, or bands where the medical emblem is de – bossed on silicone band.
There are also Pearl Medical Alert Bracelets, Natural Stone Medical Alert Bracelets, Vintage Medical ID Bracelets, Beaded Medical ID Bracelets, Medical Alert Ankle Bracelets, Awareness Medical ID Bracelets, Silicone Watch Style Medical ID Bracelets and many other types.
Medical Alert Necklaces
A medical alert necklace is another popular form of medical alert jewelry, especially with those who work with their hands or with machinery which could get in the way or be caught in the machinery. A medical alert necklace can easily be hidden under clothing if required.
Popular Medical Alert Necklaces are
- Medical ID Dog Tag Necklaces – are very popular, especially with men, and come in sterling silver, stainless steel, and anodized aluminum. They can be engraved with your full name, any medical condition you may suffer from, any allergies you may have, and ICE telephone number. They come in a variety of colors and are sized for boys or men.
- Stainless Steel Medical ID Guitar Pick Necklaces – perfect for the musician in your life who doesn’t really like jewelry.
- Rectangular Sterling Silver Necklaces – come in a variety of colors on a closed-link chain of sterling silver which has a good quality lobster-claw clasp.
- Heart Charm Medical Tag Necklace – made of sterling silver and comes in various colors, with or without enamel insets.
Many of these necklaces also come in a great gift-box, so you can purchase a present that keeps on giving for a loved one.
Medical Alert Pendants
Many people choose to wear a medical alert pendant as opposed to a bracelet if they have a medical condition which warrants them wearing some type of medical alert jewelry, or wear contact lenses or have an implant of one or another type. First Respondents and Medical Professionals know to look for these pendants and find them very helpful in cases where the patient cannot speak.
Popular Medical Alert Pendants
- USB Medical Alarm Pendants – these USB sticks can carry a wealth of information, including copies of x-rays and other medical records. They can be plugged into any computer for the records to be accessed. There is no need for any specialised software and you can load the information yourself. They can be worn around the neck, on a fob-chain, on a keying, on a belt or on a chain on the wrist or attached to a wristwatch.
- Capsule Pendants – are medical alert jewelry in the shape of a capsule. It is made of stainless steel with the snake and staff logo on the outside. On the inside is a roll of paper on which you or your doctor can fill in relevant medical information and an ICE name and number. The capsule is water resistant as long as the top is screwed on tightly, and it comes on a stainless steel or resin neck chain.
- The SOS Talisman Pendant – water-tight, heat resistant capsule which comes with non-soluble paper inside. The information headings are written in six languages, and emergency personnel all over the world are aware of the SOS Capsule so know to look for it. It comes in gold plate, stainless steel and sterling silver.
There are also various other types of pendants which you can get, ranging from silver, to gold to stainless steel and other materials, which can attach to various jewelry to form medical alert jewelry.
Medical Alert Jewelry for Children
Children cannot always speak for themselves, even if they are alert after an accident or other type of mishap, as they terminology. This is why it is important for children to wear medic alert jewelry, even more so if they have a condition which could make them misunderstood or is life-threatening.
Popular Medical Alert Jewelry for Children is
- A Medical Alert Pendant – can be attached to a neck chain or a watch or even to a backpack somewhere.
- Adjustable Wrist Bands– are good as children grow so fast, and this means the bracelet does not get too small for them too quickly.
- Dog tags – young boys especially love wearing these as it makes them feel manly. Come on leather cords or chains.
Medical Alert Watches
There are various types of medical alert watches for those who will not wear jewelry other than a watch. These watches range from plain to fancy so can be worn by even the most fashion-conscious lady, gent or child.
Popular Medical Alert Watches
- Medical ID Watches – have a watch-face on the top of the wrist and a medical alert tag on the bottom. It comes with lobster clasps which attach to your custom engraved medical alert tag. Some of them come with Citizen Eco-Drive Technology.
- The Pulsar Kinetic Medical Alert Watch – is a quartz watch powered by human movement, is environmentally friendly, very fashionable and accurate.
- Seiko – offers Lorus and Pulsar medical alert watches that have great designs, the latest technology, and are manufactured from various materials.
- Medical Alarm Watches – remind the wearer to take their medication at specific times of the day and can be engraved with health related information and relevant phone numbers on the back.
Of course there are also many more styles of medical alert watches available; one should do some research and find what suits your particular circumstances.
Beaded Medical Alert Jewelry
There are many people who do not prescribe to the corporate way of doing things, and dress rather casually. Many of these are artistic people or those who are into the more etheric and esoteric things in life. There is some wonderful beaded medical alert jewelry which will really suit these individuals.
Popular Beaded Medical Alert Jewelry
- Casual Medical ID Bracelets – comfortable and comes in various styles designed for men and women. This medical alert jewelry is very popular especially with the surfer crowd.
- Colorful Beaded Medical ID Bracelets – make a fashion statement by wearing your vital medical information secreted in a funky and attractive beaded bracelet. Colors differ according to the type of bead used, and the beads are sometimes interchangeable.
- Swarovski crystal medical alert jewelry – make a statement with crystals, pearls or even with some natural stones, and sterling silver.
Most of the above beaded medical alert jewelry is threaded on steel wire. There are also stretch beaded bracelets which are threaded on to jewelry elastic. All of the bracelets come with a polished stainless steel medical ID tag which has the official Universal Emergency Medical Alert Symbol, designed by the American Medical Association, which is an internationally-recognized symbol.
Medical Alert Jewelry Combination Sets
Some companies and jewelers also offer medical alert jewelry combination sets which save you on money and allow you to change the look depending on how you are dressed.
Popular Medical Alert Jewelry Combination Sets
- Each set includes three products – a combination of two medical alert bracelets, a single medical alert tag and a waterproof medical alert bracelet which is adjustable; a medical ID dog tag necklace, combined with adjustable waterproof medical ID bracelets.
- Many well-known jewelers offer diamond or Swarovski Crystal or gold bracelets with earrings to match.
Whichever type of medical alert jewelry you choose is entirely up to you and only you, but remember that you have many, many styles and materials to choose from. What is most important is that you DO wear medic alert jewelry.