Monday, February 21, 2011

Hobo Mama Giveaway: SafetyTat Temporary ID Tattoos for child safety = 2 winners! {3.16; US/Can} CLOSED

This giveaway is now closed. View the winners here, and get a new coupon code! Thank you all for entering!

This is a joint giveaway with Hobo Mama Reviews and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.
Have Kids Will Travel special giveaway event at Hobo Mama ReviewsHAVE KIDS, WILL TRAVEL special event: Through our most recent cross-country trips, I've been featuring a selection of special travel-related items for review that should make your next family vacation even more enjoyable! Today's review and giveaway is of an innovative safety-oriented product.

SafetyTat temporary tattoos is offering TWO of my readers a giveaway of a sample pack of the SafetyTat Quick Stick Write-On! temporary tattoos (the packet to the left in the above picture).

SafetyTat contacted me to do a review, and I was intrigued by their product, and the benefits it would have when traveling or attending a busy place with your child. SafetyTat offers temporary tattoos with your phone number that can be easily applied to your children's arm or hand — that way, if your children get separated from you (heaven forfend), they don't have to remember or be able to say their phone number; it will be printed right there to be seen by a helpful adult.

I envision these being a safety measure for pre-verbal children, or children and others with special needs who might have difficulty recalling or conveying a phone number. You could also use one of the tattoos with a message about allergies or medical conditions. I'd love to have one of these SafetyTats on Mikko as we were going through an airport, sightseeing in a busy city, or visiting a theme park, children's museum, zoo, or similar crowded attraction. They would be an extra layer of protection before sending your child off on a field trip or camping excursion. It could even make things less stressful during a day of errands or shopping, particularly if you have a child who loves to run off.

I remember shopping at the mall with my family when I was about 4. I stopped to look at something tantalizing in a shop window, and the next thing I knew, I didn't see anyone I recognized around me. Granted, this was before cell phones (ah, the dark ages of my childhood!), but I would have felt so much more comfortable as a child if I knew I could go to the nearest mall employee and point to a phone number that would have brought my parents running back to my side!

More recently, I lost sight of Mikko in a big department store — he was thinking it was hilarious to play hide-and-seek, and meanwhile, I was having nightmare visions of child abduction. Again, a tattoo like this would give so much peace of mind — to parent and child both.

I was able to review the two types of SafetyTat tattoos:
  • Original: A standard temporary tattoo with my cell phone already professionally pre-printed
  • Quick Stick Write-On!: A new, sticker-like tattoo with a write-on surface

Original, pre-printed version

Application and design

We tried out the pre-printed version first. It's the type of temporary tattoo you'll be familiar with, if you're familiar at all with temporary tattoos. The image is printed backwards on the tattoo, because you peel off the top layer and put the sticky, decorative side down onto your skin and press firmly for 60 seconds (to warm it with your body heat), then follow up with a warm, moist cloth to loosen the paper backing. Then you ease the backing off the tattoo once it removes easily. Voila! Tattooed!

Press firmly for 60 seconds, then wet with a warm, damp cloth to apply.

These tattoos were super cute, and very convenient. They come in packs of 30 for the one-line version, so you should have plenty for even a long trip or multiple children, and most likely for multiple excursions. We were able to choose which of the many designs we wanted, so I went with a friendly green dino. Can't go wrong with dinos, right? (Mikko tells me girls can't like dinosaurs, because they're too scary. The dinosaurs, I think he means.)

They went on the way I expect temporary tattoos to work, so it wasn't difficult to figure out. The only potential negative I see about the application is that you're applying it to a squirmy-wormy child. This depends, of course, on your child, but holding a young kid's arm still while pressing firmly for 60 seconds might or might not be possible for you and yours. Mikko stayed pretty calm through the pressing firmly for most of the recommended time, though he did protest that I was pressing too firmly (he's such a delicate flower), so I had to lighten up. Then he has a thing against being wet, so I made sure the hanky I used was just moist, so that hopefully he wouldn't care too much. He tolerated it just long enough to get the tattoo in place. Success!

To be thorough, I also applied one to my arm, and one to Sam's. Well, Sam applied his own. I was able to press very firmly on my own arm, for the fully required length of time, and use a wetter napkin, because I don't complain as much as a three-year-old. I wanted to see if the quality of transfer and the longevity of the tattoo was greatly affected by how precisely one followed the recommended application instructions.

As it turns out? Didn't matter much. So score one for SafetyTat — even squirmy children can wear these tattoos.

They even stayed on us that day while washing and swimming.

To be thorough, we tested them on everybody in the family!

In case it's not clear, I've taken out some of the digits of our phone number in every picture. Not that I much care who calls me, but just to be a bit safer. I've left in the same digits in each picture, so you can see the different wear patterns over the same numbers.

Wear and tear

The Original version promises to last for at least a day and up to five, and I found the day-long estimate to be about right. The ones on my son actually looked better for longer than the ones on my husband and me — maybe because he's less hairy! (Or maybe because we bathe more often!) It's possible some of your Original tattoos might last a few days, but for best results you should apply a new one each day. We did two different rounds to see how well a SafetyTat can be expected to last on a long day out.

(click on pictures to enlarge)

About a day after on a child's arm — you can see the tattoo is showing some cracking and wear, particularly on the dinosaur in the first picture, but the numbers are all still readable.

About a day after on an adult's arm — some of the numbers in the first instance are no longer readable, but I did put it on the top of my arm, where there's some hair. Putting it on the inner part of my arm (to the right) was more successful. There's still some cracking of the tattoo, but most adults would be able to decipher the phone number.

They weren't joking when they said not to apply it to hairy places! Particularly for older SafetyTat users, make sure you pick a place that's smooth, like the inner part of the arm or up higher on the shoulder. SafetyTat also warns that you shouldn't apply the tattoos over sunscreen or anything similarly oily; wash and dry the area first.

My conclusions about the longevity: I was a little worried after our first test that some of the numbers in my tattoo were illegible by the end of the day. After all, it's not a safety measure if an adult who finds your lost child can't read the numbers to call you. (We'll discount my husband's experience and just point it out as an example of what not to do: Don't apply these tattoos on a hairy part of the arm.) Even Mikko's tattoo the first time around had the dinosaur disintegrate; that's not important in itself, but what if it had been the numbers instead?

But the second time around, perhaps with a little more attention paid to the application, both our tattoos stuck around legibly the entire day. My advice, then:
  • Apply carefully, paying special attention to choose a clean, dry, hairless section.
  • Clean and dry the section before application, and then allow the tattoo to fully dry before putting on clothing or rubbing and touching it.
  • I have cold hands, so it's occurring to me that someone with more body heat (like my husband) might have a better time warming up the tattoo during the 60 seconds of pressing firmly, since body warmth is what transfers the image.
  • If your children are likely to pick at it, apply it someplace that's more out of sight, such as the shoulder or on the outside of the arm near the elbow. (These tips work better in warmer weather and short sleeves — you don't want the tattoo to be hidden entirely, or else you'd need to coach your child to point out the tattoo if lost; few adults would think to look for a safety tattoo under a sleeve!)
  • You or whoever's caring for your child that day should keep an extra tattoo available, in the (mostly unlikely) event the current one needs replacing before the end of the day. This is especially true if you're going to be someplace like a chlorinated pool or water park that might be tougher on your tats.

Now, as for removing the tattoo, I found mine and my husband's wore off naturally over a couple days, so that I didn't bother doing anything special beyond rubbing at it in the shower to get the remnants off. My bath-averse son, however, had his remain for quite some time. The recommended remover is baby oil (mineral oil) or rubbing alcohol, but I wanted to test whether any sort of oil would get it off, assuming that some parents don't have or don't like baby oil or rubbing alcohol. But — Mikko is equally grease-averse, apparently, and wouldn't let me try it out, so I had to leave his tattoos on to languish and slowly disintegrate…for days and days. We'll just assume the makers aren't lying when they say baby oil or rubbing alcohol will do the trick — as will some friction on a degrading tattoo. (I did find a little olive oil helped me get the residue off from the Quick Stick version.)

Pros of the Original version:
  • Nice big pack for lots of uses
  • Convenient pre-printing of your preferred telephone number(s)
  • Option to include a second line
  • Residue removes easily with oil or alcohol (I hear)
  • Large variety of cute designs for boys and girls, and you can even provide a custom design (remember — dinosaurs are for boys only! Don't make Mikko come after you!)
  • Only $19.95 for a big pack of 30 one-line or 24 two-line SafetyTats that should last you quite awhile

Cons of the Original version:
  • Spotty experience with wear — might have to reapply during the same day if you notice the numbers wearing off
  • Have to choose a particular phone number (probably the main caregiver's cell) for the one-line version, or choose the two-line version or have multiple versions printed
  • Because it's somewhat see-through, some designs are harder to see on darker skin. (Click here for skin-tone samples.)

New Quick Stick Write-On! version

Application and design

I received a sample pack of three of the newer form of SafetyTats, along with instructions and supplies for applying and personalizing them.

I was a little overwhelmed at first just glancing at the six-step process for application — until I did it, and it was about as complicated as putting on a sticker.

Basically, you clean the area you want, using an included rubbing alcohol wipe for good measure to get all the oils off your skin. Then you peel off the bottom backing, press firmly to the skin for 30 seconds, and remove the top layer of backing. Now you can use the enclosed permanent marker to write a message or phone number on the tattoo.

There's a lot to like about the Quick Stick Write-On! version. One thing that struck me was how convenient this would be if your child has a variety of caregivers. Say that, one day your child goes on a class field trip and you want to write the teacher's cell number on the sticker; then the next day, your children's grandmother takes the kids to the zoo and you want everyone to have Grandma's number; and then the next month, you and your child go on a vacation, and you want it to be your cell phone number. With the write-on feature, you can customize the tattoo to fit any situation without reordering the personalized version.

I also liked how easy it was to apply. Again, a child who's touch-sensitive or just doesn't like to stay still might find the pressing-firmly-for-30-seconds bit tedious, but I was able to distract Mikko long enough to have the tattoo stick well. SafetyTat's FAQ recommends using the time to sing the ABCs or talk about the purpose of the SafetyTat tattoo. It's nice that it's a shorter time to press than the Original and doesn't require water. Then again, Mikko did protest that the rubbing alcohol wipe was "too cold," so there's always a catch!

Another thing Mikko protested? The part where I write on it. Not even joking, he wouldn't let me come near his tattoo with the marker. I tried to swoop in and got one little black line, and he flipped out. So…this might depend on your kids. Unfortunately, you can't pre-write the number, because the place you write is under the secondary layer of backing, the one you pull off last. I was hoping to see how challenging it was to write a phone number on a squiggly preschooler, but I had no idea I wouldn't get to write it at all! For reference, my son is three and a half, which I think is typically known as a test-your-independence sort of age; if you have younger or older kids or prepare them for the writing-on, it might not be as big a deal. Another idea? Do it while they're sleeping…

I was a little nervous about writing on my own tattoo since I don't have the neatest handwriting, but it worked out legibly. If you're worried, maybe have someone with good handwriting take over that part for you.

Mikko with a captionless Write-On tattoo (and a degrading Original next to it that he wouldn't let me remove).

One thing your kids might really like about the Quick Stick version is that it comes in variety packs, more like stickers or kid-themed bandages, so your child can enjoy a new design every time. Mikko liked picking out which design he got and which one he wanted me to have.

Wear and tear

Another thing I was very impressed with is the unbeatable longevity of the Quick Stick version. Today my tattoo finally fell off on its own (I was experimenting!) — after, I kid you not, three weeks exactly. That was through multiple showers and swimming in a chlorinated pool. Mikko's is still on, I think!

The write-on tattoos look basically the same one day (left) and six days (right) later. They got a bit linty around the edges, but the numbers stayed readable (on the one we'd written on!).

If you can keep your kids from picking at theirs, you can expect it to last for a couple weeks. The Quick Stick version costs more than the Original, but I think the cost averages out when you consider that.

Pros of the Quick Stick Write-On! version:
  • Can write any message or phone number. If you have precise handwriting, you might be able to fit in two lines.
  • Could easily use with multiple caregivers: dad's cell phone one day, the babysitter's the next, etc.
  • Said to last up to two weeks — ours lasted three, with no degrading of the legibility
  • Variety packs so kids can rotate through designs
  • Because they're opaque and vibrant, the write-on designs will work the same on any skin tone. (Click here for skin-tone samples.)

Cons of the Quick Stick Write-On! version:
  • Smaller, more expensive pack (18 + pen for $19.99) — but they last longer
  • Child will have to submit to having the tattoo written on. (This might be a problem only for my son!)
  • Requires neat handwriting
  • Looks wrinkly almost immediately on top of the skin. This isn't a big deal, just an aesthetic note.

Safety notes

About the materials used: Checking out the application instructions, I realize, as a precaution, I wasn't supposed to use these while pregnant or nursing — whoops on both counts! Ah, well, I didn't have any adverse reaction to either tattoo. The FAQ states there is no latex in either version, and the adhesive is acrylic-based, which is unlikely to cause allergic reactions. That said, some people do have reactions to adhesive, so be sure to keep an eye on your kids while they're wearing these. You might need to keep the tattoos on for less time if they have skin that is typically bothered by adhesive. The Quick Stick version is made with proprietary tattoo material Tateck®, whatever that is!

I would agree with the website that wearing these tattoos is much less toxic than writing directly on skin with a permanent marker, and less likely to fade or get lost than a number written on skin or a slip of paper that's tucked in a pocket. It could potentially be safer than a medical bracelet or necklace, too, in terms of loss or getting caught on things.

The SafetyTat website also has some fabulous safety tips for keeping your children safe when you're on outings. I liked this note about the benefits of the tattoo to the child:

"Many parents struggle between giving their children freedom and providing them protection. … We learned something very important: when wearing SafetyTat, many children do not panic when separated from parents. They feel EMPOWERED. They are calm, know exactly what to do and understand that the simple tattoo on their arm is a way to get back to his/her parents fast."

I don't know if Mikko fully understood why he was wearing the tattoos, but I think a slightly older child definitely would, and would feel protected rather than coddled. These temporary tattoos are an extra measure of safety that's simple, fun, and appealing to children of different ages.


You can purchase SafetyTat temporary tattoos directly from the website or from the list of local, online, and international retailers, or on Amazon.

Original SafetyTats cost $19.95 for 30 tattoos with one line of pre-printed text. You can buy in larger quantities to save quite a lot per tattoo. The packs come in a single design or a combo pack of two designs. Two lines of text start at $19.95 for 24. You can find many designs and price points on Amazon.

Quick Stick Write-On! tattoos run $19.99 for a variety pack of 18, or $9.99 for a pack of 6. You can buy the 6-pack variety at Amazon for that price, eligible for free Super Saver Shipping.

There are a variety of specialty tattoos available:
  • Special Needs: autism, nonverbal, Down syndrome, and combinations of the conditions
  • Allergy Alert: for allergies to nuts, peanuts, or bee stings
  • Medical Alert: diabetic or custom printing of medical conditions
  • For Schools: perfect for field trips and group activities; could make a thoughtful teacher's gift!
  • En Español: a selection of designs in Spanish

There's a new TatBuilder that allows you to choose your own design, text, and colors. You can also upload your own designs to customize further, for yourself or for an organization.

I also love the TatKisses to remind kids they're loved when their parents aren't around, which would be a lovely gift to a child who suffers from separation anxiety. (I might need to get some for Mikko for preschool!)

Shipping for tattoos from to U.S. addresses starts at $3.39 for First-Class Mail.

Coupon code just for our readers!

Get a 10% discount off any order of $15 or more from the SafetyTat website by entering code HoboMama (case sensitive). Coupon is good through March 7, so use it now!

What happens when you ask a three-year-old to model a logo sticker.

What happens when you ask a three-year-old to model an arm tattoo.


For your own chance to win a sample pack of the SafetyTat Quick Stick Write-On! in multi-design, enter in the comments below! This is the same sample pack of three sticker tattoos with marker that I reviewed, and TWO winners will be selected. Contest is open to U.S. & Canadian mailing addresses.

MAIN ENTRY: Visit and tell me something interesting you've read!

Leave an email address in at least one of your comments if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. (You can write it like this to foil spambots: mail {at} hobomama {dot} com or similar.)

This is a joint giveaway with Hobo Mama Reviews and Natural Parents Network, a site co-founded by Lauren of Hobo Mama & Dionna of Code Name: Mama and intending to bring together those interested in attachment parenting and a natural lifestyle. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do check out and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES, after completing the mandatory entry above, to increase your chance of winning (leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all):
  • Tell me a story of being lost as a child or losing sight of your child.
  • Tell me how you would use SafetyTat tattoos.
  • Subscribe to the SafetyTat newsletter by email (signup is on the main page).
  • Follow publicly through Google Friend Connect, or subscribe to the Hobo Mama Reviews RSS feed in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Follow through Google Friend Connect, or subscribe to the Hobo Mama RSS feed in a reader or by email (1 entry for each).
  • Subscribe to Natural Parents Network in a reader or by email.
  • Leave a relevant comment on a non-giveaway article at Natural Parents Network and tell us which post (comment on separate posts for up to 3 entries total).
  • Follow @SafetyTat on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @Hobo_Mama on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @NatParNet on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Tweet about this giveaway (up to 5 times total, at least 24 hours apart). You can tweet this text: Enter to #win @SafetyTat child ID temporary tattoos in a @Hobo_Mama & @NatParNet #giveaway! {3.16, US/Can}
  • Like SafetyTat on Facebook.
  • Like Hobo Mama on Facebook.
  • Like Natural Parents Network on Facebook.
  • Follow Hobo Mama on Networked Blogs on Facebook.
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook page or wall and leave the link (1 entry). You can use this status update: Enter to win a pack of @SafetyTat: Kids temporary safety tattoos from @Hobo Mama. Contest ends March 16 and is open to US & Canada.
    Be sure to attach the contest URL to your update (this is not part of the update text):
  • Enter another of my current giveaways or the giveaways on Natural Parents Network (1 extra entry per giveaway — check back for more!).
  • Put my Hobo Mama button on your website or add to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries each. The HTML code for the button is in the sidebar. Leave your site URL in the comment.
  • Put the Natural Parents Network badge on your website or add to your text blogroll for 2 extra entries each. The HTML code for the badge is on the front page of Leave your site URL in the comment.

  • Contest open to US & Canada.
  • Contestants may enter at either Hobo Mama Reviews or Natural Parents Network but not both. Entries will be combined for the drawing of two single winners.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so I can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let me know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • I will pick the two winners through after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave an email address in your comment if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. If I can't reach a winner or don't hear back within a couple days, I'll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let me know: mail {at}

Contest closes March 16 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Disclosure: I received two packets of tattoos for review.
To be thorough and because I liked the product, I just joined the affiliate program,
so a couple SafetyTat links as well as Amazon links are affiliate links.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If I don't like a product, I won't be recommending it to you.
See my full disclosure policy here.


polly said...

another cute item they sell are tat kisses!

polly said...

i would use the safety tats whenever we have our little grandson with us on an outing!

polly said...

follow gfc

Unknown said...

One interesting thing I read is that the only place that sells this in my state is at a Waterpark which is such a great idea since it is always jam packed and easily could be a place to lose track of your kiddo!

Unknown said...

I follow hobomom on twitter


Unknown said...

I follow safety tat on twitter


Unknown said...

I'm a GFC follower

Unknown said...

I follow you through RSS feed through google

Unknown said...

I would use this tatoo on my daughter when she went on a field trip with her class!

Momma Jorje said...

I remember when I was a kid being told NOT to write on my skin and it seemed kind of ridiculous. I see SO many people do it. I never really thought about the chemicals in sharpies and have often been known to make one or two-letter reminders on my hand! In fact, when we were dating, my husband would write love notes on my hand.

I also liked the tip to tell your kids to ask a MOMMY for help. While women are certainly less likely to be predators (though that is not a guarantee!), other mothers are much more likely to understand the stress of the situation and help post-haste.

wigget said...

i learned that you should Bring a Family Photo.

wigget said...

i noce lost my child in target.

wigget said...

i would use safety tat when going on family vacation to disney

Jessica said...

Over 2000 kids are lost every day? Yikes! Thanks for a chance to win :)

snulfers said...

I think its cool they are a parenting media award winner.

Lisa bradford said...

I love using these. My daughter has a severe peanut allergy and started school this year. I bought the pre peanut allergy ones and also the phone number ones to use while on field trips or even on her visitation times with her dad. I recommended the generic pre typed ones to her allergist to resell in his offuce. They work great and last a few days.

snulfers said...

I had my girl walk away from me in Kmart and they locked the doors until we found her. She was 2.

snulfers said...

I would use them on field trips and for the fair.

snulfers said...

Like SafetyTat on Facebook.

snulfers said...

Like Hobo Mama on Facebook.

MH said...

I'd love to have these for my 4 and 1 year olds during our next trip to FL. I follow Hobo Mama on FB.

Randi K. said...

Something interesting I learned is that these are fold at my husbands favorite teacher supply store. Pretty cool.

Randi K. said...

I would pretty much use these everywhere as j have 17 month old twin boys and I start to panic just going to the backyard!

Randidenise at hotmail dot com

Randi K. said...

My dad lost me and my friend at the circus. He didn't know my friends name, just that her nickname was Murphy, so he had the ringmaster announce "Will Randi and Murphy please come to the front" in front of the second showing where a lot of our classmates were attending. Embarrassing!

Randidenise at hotmail dot com

1955nurse said...

I learned that over 2,000 kids are lost EVERYday!!! (That's a frightening statistic!) ((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) ;-)

1955nurse said...

I would use them on our Grandson on outings, also his Mom could use them on trips to the store, etc. (Just in case...) Great product, wonderful giveaway!!!((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) Thanks!

1955nurse said...

I'm a public follower via GFC :-0 ((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) Thanks!

1955nurse said...

I'm a current e-mail subscriber - confirmed! ((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) Great blog!!!

1955nurse said...

I also follow you via Networked blogs (Holly) Thanks!!!

1955nurse said...

I "LIKE" you on Facebook ((HollyCunningham))

1955nurse said...

I also "LIKE" Safety Tats on Facebook (HollyCunningham) LOVE this product!!!

1955nurse said...

AND.... I "LIKE" Natural Parents Network on Facebook, too!!!((HollyCunningham)) Genius product!!!

Unknown said...

I am glad they don't add the kids' names for safety reasons.

drumminor83 (at) juno . com

Unknown said...

I follow using Google reader.

Unknown said...

I follow using Google reader.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I follow @Hobo_Mama on Twitter as TrueRealMommy.

Unknown said...

I follow NatParNet on twitter as TrueRealMommy.