Bracelet of Life is more than fashion

Just for kids

Kids News

July 29, 1999

Our favorite new bracelet isn't made of sterling silver. Dainty charms don't dangle prettily from it; there are no jewels to catch the light. The Bracelet of Life is just a strip of paper -- but it sure catches attention.

Its colored zones make it a handy tool for doctors helping out in global crises, from droughts to civil wars. Here's how it works:

Doctors slip a bracelet on a child's arm and quickly see how close that child is to starving. Wrap the bracelet around the arm of a well-nourished child, slip the tab through its slot and pull, and the tab stops on the green zone. On a skinnier arm, the bracelet might wrap to the yellow zone, meaning the child is at risk of malnutrition; or the orange zone, meaning the child has moderate malnutrition and is at risk of starvation. Worst of all is the red zone, which means the child is dying of starvation.

Now the global relief agency Doctors Without Borders is distributing the bracelets to raise awareness about malnutrition. (The group says it's the No. 1 disease affecting kids around the world.)

For info on how you can get your hands on some, e-mail Doctors Without Borders at doctors@newyork.msf.org, or call (212) 679-6800. And check out their Web site, www. doctorswithoutborders.org.

(c) 1997 Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune, Inc.

Pub Date: 07/29/99

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