Although quick response codes have been placed on jewelry before, it has primarily been for medical histories.
There is great potential to be found in the use of QR codes, which are barcodes that can be scanned through the use of smartphones and any of dozens of free apps, but there is one that is becoming rather interesting to the parents of children with autism.
While there have been medical ID jewelry pieces produced with these barcodes, the latest development is different.
Now, QR codes are appearing on actual ID bracelets in order to help to bring lost children back to their parents. This could be a very promising way to reduce a vulnerability among children with autism – a condition that is estimated to impact one in 80 to 100 children. Kids who are on the spectrum often have a tendency to take off, and as many are nonverbal or struggle to express themselves when they are upset – such as when they have been found by a stranger – it can be difficult for them to find their ways back to their parents when they have gone missing.
The QR codes can help to give people the opportunity to assist autistic children in returning home.
These quick response codes can be scanned by a person with a smartphone if a child has wandered away from home or has become separated while in a crowd or in public. Scanning the barcode is a quick and simple process and will advise a helpful person of the child’s condition and provide information regarding ways that the parents can be contacted so that the child can be returned to them.
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The idea was developed by the Holmquist family, from Fergus Falls, Minnesota, which has an autistic member. They came up with the Keep Me Safe ID bracelet in early 2012, geared toward families that have children with autism. Although the bracelets won’t stop the children from wandering off, it will help to provide some peace of mind that if this does occur, there is an additional tool to help to bring them home again.
This concept has since expanded and has been worked into QR codes that can be worn by adults in nursing homes who have specific medical conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes, or who have Alzheimer’s or dementia.