First of all, I would like to thank your correspondent Sue McAdam for highlighting the value of the “Estou Aqui” bracelet (I am here!), Which was an initiative of the Ministry of Internal Administration and administered by the Police of public security (PSP).
For your information, this program was originally set up to help reunite children who fall away from their parents / guardians, for example in crowded areas or on beaches. Anyone finding the child and checking the bracelet can then call the emergency number with the child’s contact details and the parents are contacted by the police. The fact that it is free, administered by the police, and easy to request and remove, makes the bracelet system extremely successful.
Literally hundreds of thousands of children have used it since its inception.
It is designed for children aged two to ten, but bracelets for children under two may exceptionally be available if they are fully able to walk independently.
Subsequently, this scheme was extended to people who, due to their age or illness, may become disoriented or unconscious in public places – including those suffering from dementia and, as your correspondent points out, from epilepsy. The program aims to ensure the safety of all users on public roads and to promote a quick reunion with the family member or acquaintance previously indicated.
Safe Communities has promoted this with the PSP at various exhibitions / shows and through our website and Facebook page. This bracelet can be ordered online and picked up at the nearest PSP station of your choice. In some cases where missing people with disorientation are missing and luckily found, we have recommended the use of the bracelet.
It is good to hear the response from users as in the case of Sue which gives her “a sense of confidence if she is alone in public”.
More details on the program for children and adults can be downloaded here: estouaqui.mai.gov.pt
David Thomas President,
Safe Communities Portugal