Ask any parent and they will tell you that losing their child in a crowd is probably one of their biggest fears.
It can happen in an instant when you take your eyes off your child: in an airport, theme park even the local market.
When my kids were younger, I admit I was one of those moms writing my cell number with a sharpie on my kids’ arms before heading out almost anywhere. Over the years, I’ve met many parents to kids with autism( some non-verbal )who have expressed their concern not only for their children wandering off unsupervised but of their child’s ability to ask for help once they feel lost.
Enter the QR Code ID!
Created by Erin Wilson mother to a son with autism, the QR Code ID is a bar code that can be a applied to any item kids wear and can be easily scanned to obtain immediate medical and personal information when needed.
What is QR Code ID?
QR Code ID provides information for those who are unable to communicate during critical moments.
It can be a lifesaver for people with Autism, Down Syndrome, Dementia and Alzheimer’s who may wander and not be able to ask for help.
It is also a useful tool for law enforcement and first responders in that it helps not only identify the person but understand the person’s behaviors and needs better.
The QR code information can either be scanned with a smartphone or accessed by manually entering a unique number associated with each profile on QR code’s website. Each profile contains emergency contact and behavioral information. This information can also be changed in real time, and parents have the capability to post messages like “We are on Main street looking for him-Please take him to the security gate.” or “My asthma inhaler is in the front pocket of my purse.” when needed.
What made you come up with the idea?
It started on a lunch date with my husband and I brainstorming about different options on the market that could be helpful for him if and when he ever got lost.
Our son Jay has moderate – severe autism with very limited language ability and has gotten lost before.
And then it dawned on me – we needed a way to relay his information that will always be with him.
That’s how I first thought of using a QR code.
It’s funny, I had seen codes many times on grocery products before but never thought of using one to store personal information.
My husband, Bruce and I have been developing the concept since April 2012 and had a patent pending.
It’s true been a labor of love, a way for us to help families like ours first, and a business second.
What can QR code ID be printed on?
Some people have particular tactile concerns; others have items they carry with them, so we’re always looking for ways to address individual preferences.
Our company offers a line of clothing that was designed by special -needs’ artists button down shirts, polos, and T-shirts as well as hoodies.
For people preferring to use their clothing, we have the options printing the code bar on vinyl heat transfers.
Also, these codes can also be put on pins, clips, business cards, backpacks even suitcases.
We are currently testing temporary tattoos and hope to start offering that as an option soon too.
Is it available in other countries and other languages?
We’ve received many calls from places like Australia and the UK, so we’re working hard to make the site compatible on a global scale and hope to be offering our product in other languages shortly.
How does the code work and how user-friendly is it?
Our product is extremely user-friendly for both families and first responders.
All caregivers need to do is set up the person’s profile and keep the information current.
Each membership also has a password-protected secure site where relevant information such as diagnosis, allergies and medications can be stored and retrieved in an emergency.
I need to emphasize the importance for the person with the disability to wear their code at all times, which is why we have created so many product options.
QR is helpful for first responders since the subscriber’s profile page can be either scanned on any smartphone or tablet or manually entered on the website with a unique code.
How can it help traveling families?
When a family is traveling, they are out more than they may normally be, and in unfamiliar surroundings, which can present more opportunities for a person to become disoriented and lost.
We have a friend whose Dad was visiting from out of town. They went to the mall and lost Dad coming out of the bathroom.They think he turned the wrong way coming out of the restroom, and he was lost for several long hours.
It’s so stressful for the families, for both the person who is lost and individuals who are looking for them.Our hope is that QR code ID can turn those hours of stress and worry into a quick and happy reunion.
Erin Wilson used to be a carefree world traveler backpack style on a shoestring budget.
These days she is married to super involved husband Bruce and Mom to Grace and Jay.
Also, advocate, scheduler, caregiver and driver for 11-year-old son Jay who has moderate to severe Autism. He has issues with waiting in lines and eating at sit down restaurants.
They try their best to have him be part of the community and enjoy travel while not embarrassing sister too much. They have been able to do a couple of Vegas trips and many day trips around southern California.