Safety Tat creator Michelle Welsh came up with the idea when she and her husband took their three children on an outing to a busy entertainment venue. Feeling anxious in the crowds, she wrote her phone number on each of her kids, so that if they got separated, they would be able to reconnect with Mom and Dad. It put her mind at ease; however, the ball point ink smeared and wore off and needed to be refreshed several times throughout the day. Thus, the idea for a child id tattoo was born.
Safety Tats are available in several varieties:
- The Original Safety Tat is preprinted and applied with water, like a traditional play tattoo, and lasts from one to five days.
- Quick Stick Write-On Safety Tats are made of the proprietary tattoo material Tateck®, which is ultra-durable, skin-safe, waterproof and sweatproof. The Write-On Tats require no water, adhere directly to the skin, and last up to two weeks or until you are ready to remove them. Write-On Tats are blank, allowing you to fill in your contact information with the accompanying waterproof tattoo marking pen.
- Safety Tat QR is the new “smarter” Tat. Made of the same material as the Write-On Tats, Safety Tat QR offers the same convenient application and lasting durability but includes more information at the scan of a code. Safety Tat QR displays a preprinted emergency contact phone number and a QR—Quick Response—code readable by applications on iPhones and other smart phones. Parents can include up to 90 characters’ worth of additional information, such as contact names, child’s allergies or alternate phone numbers.
Since my son is allergic to nuts, I requested the one with the QR code, so I could include that additional information. The first one I applied was an utter failure. I followed the instructions, applied it to the recommended location on the inside forearm, and sent him off to gymnastics class (not because he needed it there, but because I thought it would be a good test). The Tat fell off after about 20 minutes of playtime.
Considering Safety Tats are toted to be both waterproof and sweatproof—even recommended for wear at water parks—I decided to give Tat #2 a shot. This time, after cleaning the area with the alcohol swab, I dried my son’s arm completely with a clean towel and applied the Tat to his bicep. Safety Tat #2 lasted four days before I removed it. It held up through Taekwondo classes, playing at a park, running around at a baseball game, and bathing. The print never faded, and the QR code scanned quickly and directed me to the information I had provided when I ordered the product.
Would I purchase Safety Tats myself? To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure at first. While I believe Safety Tats are a wonderful concept, I was not fully convinced they were any better than writing on my child with a Sharpie®. (I know firsthand that Sharpies last a long time on skin and are very hard to wash off!) For the cost ($10.99 for 6 Tats that may or may not stick), I could buy a handful of Sharpies. However, the second tattoo stuck really well and stayed on my son until I was ready to remove it. The print did not smudge or fade, and it was indeed sweatproof and waterproof. My son said it felt normal, as if he had a bandaid on. I did like the extra information available with the QR code. Not everyone has the technology to read those codes, but several free apps are available for download, and in an emergency, it’s likely someone would be able to access the information.
So, would I purchase Safety Tats? Sure! Along with them, I’d be purchasing a little peace of mind.
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