Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Get to Know KidsCompanions Chewelry

When Kristina was in elementary school, she was very oral, and always had something in or on her mouth. Back then, the main item suggested to us was some sort of pencil tool, with a chewable end. Not only did it sound very pleasing, but the teachers all but gagged whenever it was brought up. Apparently, they become pretty nasty!

Time marched on, and she eventually moved on, as most kids will do. Still, I often think to back then of what worked, what didn’t, and what was lacking. Enter KidCompanions! Oh, how I wish these were available when she was younger! Not familiar with them? Let me introduce you.

Which would you choose? Answer via the poll! --->

KidCompanions are chewable, wearable kid safe items. I received a green heart to sample, and I’ve got to say it has a nice feel and seems the right size, too. The safety latch at the back (when worn as a necklace) released very easily, too.

Want to learn more? I knew you would! I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the owners of the company. Here’s what she had to say:

When my daughter was younger, she was always putting something in (or on) her mouth. I would have loved to have had a product, such as Kids Companions, available! For those who may not be familiar with your product, tell us a little bit about it.
Pink heart worn as a necklace
My daughter, Pierrette, and I are co-owners of the sensory tool line Kid Companions Chewelry.  The KidCompanions are made in Canada and sold at www.kidcompanions.com , Dynavox Mayer-Johnson, FDMT, TFH Canada and others.  They are often recommended by occupational therapists and parents because they are fashionable and age-appropriate chewables/fidgets that allow the user to integrate. Safe, BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead and latex free, KidCompanions are made for those who chew or fidget. They are useful for sensory issues associated with Autism, ADHD, Tourette's syndrome, Down syndrome, FASD, SPD, etc.

When you buy a KidCompanions pendant, it comes either with a long lanyard with a clasp to be worn like a necklace or with an 8 inch piece of lanyard with a clip to be clipped to clothing, pockets,  pillows, bedding, etc. 

Durable and washable, our custom made lanyards can be used for any pendant or ID badge and can all be personalized.  We also sell the lanyards separately in 18, 20 and 24 inch lengths.  NEW and by demand, we now offer our short clip-on lanyards separately also. This lanyard is a short clip-on with a loop at the other end to attach a pendant. It is used as a replacement or as an extra for versatility. Other items or fidgets can also be attached to our clip lanyard version. 

What prompted you to come up with Kids Companions?
Pierrette, mom of three young daughters, also had one child who loved to chew.  This child with sensory issues found comfort by chewing on her younger sister’s nursing pendant made by her mom to amuse the baby while being fed. Pierrette had her “aha” moment and figured many other parents would want a sensory tool that would not be an embarrassment to the child with special needs or a distraction to others. Pierrette arranged to have a market study done on chewable, sensory necklaces and fidgets for children and it showed that indeed there was a need for a safe, efficient oral-motor tool that would bring parents peace of mind and satisfy the overwhelming need to bite, chew and/or fidget that many individuals experience throughout their lives.

What are benefits of it?/What are OT's and other professionals saying about it?
We are extremely pleased with the recommendations we receive from health care professionals and special needs teachers. Many parents find us because they got our contact information from their child’s therapist.  Some IEP’s have the use of oral-motor tools and fidgets included among the accommodations, therefore some schools are buying them.  We are happy to see our KidCompanions  going from our shelves into Sensory Boxes and listed in Sensory Diets. 

·         As a sensory oral- motor tool, it addresses the issues of inappropriate biting, chewing and teeth grinding. For anyone with speech impairment, eating difficulties, Apraxia or autism, KidCompanions  can help develop oral and facial muscle strength and control.

·         As a fidget for children with ADHD who are unable to inhibit the impulse to move around, Kid Companions Chewelry allows discreet fidgeting to help these children to focus better.  

·         As a life-line to home, children with Aspergers who do not like transitions or children with separation anxiety  going from home to school or from homeroom to another class, cafeteria, gym… find security and comfort holding on to their Kid Companions Chewelry as they would holding on to a ‘blanky’.

For those with allergies, and other concerns, what can you tell them about the safety of your product? (Does it contain latex?)
Our KidCompanions Chewelry is made in Canada, in a medical device manufacturing facility that is ISO certified, with medical grade thermoplastic Elastomer (rubbery overmold) and Polypropylene (harder insert mold). All our materials are FDA approved and sourced in North America. We buy our 100% organic cotton lanyard un-dyed. It is made in America and hand-dyed, rinsed and pre-washed in Canada (our office in Nova Scotia). The packages we use are made in America, of FDA approved cellophane. We have a quality management system and knowledge of our chain of supply (sourcing) is a priority.

Some of the main reasons for designing the KidCompanions Chewelry were material safety and traceability. Our countries have some rules and regulations, but without testing and efficient control, importing companies too often sell doubtful products to families. Bottom line, KidCompanions  are SAFE, bpa, phthalate, pvc, lead and latex free.

I see that you can order KidCompanions Chewelry with allergy warnings labels! For those with multiple allergies, how many labels can you add per item? Can you add other labels, such as other medical concerns? 

For a small fee, when buying from our online store, parents can get the lanyards personalized with contact, allergy, and /or medical information or even with whimsical logos. This info is permanently fused on the lanyard but it does not change the comfort of the lanyard. You may have the info on either side of the lanyard...but tell us >> NOTE: Labels are usually placed on the outside of lanyards, unless otherwise noted. http://kidcompanions.com/archives/product_categories/labels

We have eight different allergy logos, however if you inquire, Pierrette usually can accommodate parents who require a logo that is not shown. 
What ages is Chewelry meant for?
Blue Heart Clip
We recommend the use of our chewerly for children 3 years and older.  Our product complies with all the safety regulations for children. The lanyard’s breakaway clasp or clip is not meant to be chewed. The custom made clasp was designed to release at less than 5lbs so that children would never get caught or get strangled and it is made of medical grade polypropylene just like the pendants. If a harder material was used, any child that mistakenly chewed it could damage their teeth.

What's your best seller?
By the number of sales, the best seller is our black circle. At first we only had a black and a white circle and by popular demand we now have a blue one.  All those little princesses out there, prefer the pink heart. If an individual wants to use our product as a fidget even if both shapes have the same appealing sensory materials for hand tactile experience, the hearts are configured to provide a combination of hard and soft, rigid and pliable, curved and concave surfaces as they have a smooth worry stone dip in the front. For older fidgeters, we now have a discreet black heart.

Where is your business located? Do you ship worldwide?
We are located in West Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Through our online store we mail orders to all corners of the world and we have retail stores also selling our product in Canada, the US, and in Australia. 

What's one thing you love about what you do? :)
One thing I love about helping out Pierrette with our business is getting to know the parents. We have met such wonderful individuals who work so hard to make the lives of their children with special needs better. Some use their experience to help other parents by writing books, blogs and spreading advice and encouragement anyway they know how. Like you, Julie, it has been a pleasure to collaborate with you first by reading and reviewing your interesting book, Asperger’s in PINK. Then working together on an online interview about your book and having you as guest a few times on The Coffee Klatch Tweetchats I moderate Monday mornings. Now once again, we connect through this interview for your blog. Thanks for everything and the best to you and your family.

Lorna, as always, it’s a pleasure to speak with you – you always bring a smile to my face!

For more information, head over to their website: www.kidcompanions.com
Looking for a review? Click HERE: KidCompanions Chewelry review - FroggyPrinceMom - comprehensive review for her blog Unhadicapping the Disabled Life http://unhandicapping.com/review-giveaway-kid-companions-chewlery/
Here are social media links you might want to check out, too!:
Twitter: @Chewelry        Twitter: @PAdEntremont      Twitter:@ lornadEnt
Twitter: @chewelry   https://twitter.com/#!/

I'd love to hear from you if your child tries KidCompanions!


  1. Thanks Julie for your kind words about our KidCompanions Chewerly! We appreciated being invited for an online interview for your blog. Love the poll you set up to determine your readers' favorite KidCompanions... we look forward to see the results of the poll.

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