Tats for Tots

Coming soon to a theme park near you ...

The way Baltimore mom Michele Welsh tells it, she and her husband took their three kids to an amusement park over Labor Day weekend but panicked on arrival: Two parents vs. three kids meant they were outnumbered! What if one of the kids got lost, or got snatched? Michele whipped out a Sharpie and wrote her cell-phone number on each child’s arm, explaining that if they got lost, they should show the number to a grown-up. Throughout the day, other parents stopped and asked Michele—was that her cell-phone number on the kids’ arms? Everybody thought it was a terrific idea, which explains the press release I got yesterday for “Safety Tat—The Tat That Brings Kids Back!” SafetyTats are temporary tattoos (using medical-grade, hypoallergenic, latex-free adhesive) in a variety of styles that you can have preprinted with your cell-phone number. There’s also a blank version you can fill in yourself, or you and your kids can build your own tats, choosing “infobar” color, border, icons and, as they say, more, much more!

I’m not one of those Armageddon/Mark-of-the-Beast types, but does it seem a little weird to slap what amounts to a dog tag on your child? (Pick a hair-free spot, the company advises!) SafetyTat suggests you use them for all sorts of occasions—at $19.99 and up for a pack of 18—from the first day of school (oh, that’s not gonna scar Junior) to trips to the mall to playdates. If you need to write your cell-phone number on your kid’s body for a playdate, honey, your kid needs new friends.

And why, if you must data-stamp your offspring, not just do so with a Sharpie? Because, SafetyTat helpfully informs you, Sharpie ink contains INDUSTRIAL SOLVENTS that can PENETRATE THE SKIN and ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM!!! If, though, you insist on making like Terrell Owens (and I’ve been scribbling notes on the back of my hand for four decades), here’s a helpful hint: Tabasco juice takes Sharpie ink off.