When one mom recently shared a photo on Facebook of her sunflower lanyard, she had no idea it would get hundreds of thousands of shares, comments and reactions.

The lanyard, which has a very special meaning, is more than just a cute fashion trend. According to UK mom Kim Baker on her Facebook page, “This is a symbol at airports to alert staff that a passenger has a hidden disability and may need adjustments made for them.”

According to a report from the BBC, the sunflower lanyard idea launched in 2016 at Gatwick Airport. After the lanyards took off, nine more airports around the United Kingdom joined in.

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🌻🌻🌻 . 🌻Sunflower Lanyard🌻 . Have you used one? What was your experience? . Brain injury survivors may be reluctant to explain their symptoms to staff out of fear of being misunderstood or unfairly judged. . The lanyard, which is entirely voluntary for people with hidden disabilities and their families, acts as a discreet sign for staff that additional support or help may be required. . Sunflower lanyards are provided by participating transport providers and businesses including most major UK airports and some rail companies. . If you’re travelling from @ema_airport see below ⬇️ . https://www.eastmidlandsairport.com/help/special-assistance/hidden-disabilities/

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The bold green and yellow colors help UK airport staff to quickly identify passengers who need extra help. As the lanyards have grown in popularity, UK airports have take additional steps to assist travelers with hidden disabilities. The Manchester Airport recently opened a Sunflower Room—which is similar to Pittsburgh International Airport’s Presley’s Room, for passengers with sensory needs.

Along with a growing number of airports, the lanyards are also popping up in UK grocery stores!

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: East Midlands Airport via Instagram

 

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