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Now Kids With Allergies Can Sport "Don't Feed Me" T-Shirts

Posted by Kara Baskin  March 19, 2013 07:30 AM

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What do you guys think of this T-shirt for kids with food allergies? It was designed by comedian and reality show star Kym Whitley, whose toddler son is allergic to peanut butter, among other things. Apparently, he dons it to birthday parties and whenever he's with an unfamiliar caregiver. Would you actually buy this?


Some people think it's a crafty way to keep kids safe; others think it's basically an invitation for bullying. As for me, I'm thinking there are probably slightly more subtle ways to convey your kids' allergy issues without making them look like a walking "Hello My Name Is" tag.

Kids don't really have the sense of irony (and maybe confidence) to pull this off, do they? A shirt like this requires a certain sense of self-deprecation. I can see it being huge with the smirky nursing home set. It's the type of shirt your favorite elderly uncle would wear, with a laundry list of heh-heh foods that includes brown liquor, whole grains, carbs, gluten, and dairy products after 5 p.m. Sophia Petrillo totally would've worn this shirt. But little kids? They want to blend in.

Whitley, who has a show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, told Good Morning America: "The shirt also makes it easy for teachers and habitual caregivers to remember what Joshua can’t eat ... With the shirt making it obvious, adults around Joshua don’t have to fish for a piece of paper in his backpack, look for a note pinned onto his shirt or go through a classroom file."

Which raises another question: Are parents supposed to just buy a ton of these shirts? Or does Joshua wear the same one every day? Parents who have kids with allergies: How do you communicate their dietary restrictions, and would you do it via T-shirt?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Kara Baskin (@kcbaskin) is a Boston-based writer, editor, and mom to Andy. She thinks Sriracha and garlic make everything tastier. She loves Steely Dan and "Murder, She Wrote." Her More »

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