The statistics on missing children in this country are staggering. That is why every parent should know what to do if their child goes missing. You should know how to prepare for this situation before it happens.

Gather Your Child’s Information Now

Take the time now to complete the Missing Child Information Sheet (which is attached). It takes just a few minutes, and you will be prepared in case your child goes missing. You can also use the top portion of the Missing Child Information Sheet as a poster/flyer for public distribution.

Use a quality color photograph. This is the most important tool for recovering your child. Update the photograph every 6 months for children six and under and annually for older children.
Have additional photographs saved on a CD or flash drive so the police can download them immediately into a database.
Properly taken fingerprints may also be an important tool to recover your child. Local police departments usually print children as a public service. Store the fingerprints with the Missing Child Information Sheet.
Know where your child’s medical and dental records are kept. If you relocate, obtain copies and take them with you.
Keep a list of phone numbers for any home your child may visit.

If Your Child Goes Missing

The first two hours after a child goes missing are critical. Do not delay; Immediately contact the police!

Immediately report your child missing to the police. Provide them with your Missing Child Information Sheet. Also request investigators to enter your child into the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) missing persons file.
Ask police to issue a “Be On The Lookout” bulletin (BOLO) and ask about the AMBER Alert Plan.
Limit traffic in your home until police collect possible evidence. You should recheck your bedrooms, closets, and yard; however, don’t remove or touch any items prior to the police.
Write a description of your child’s clothing and personal items he had when last seen.
Make a list of friends, relatives, and neighbors who might have information or clues. Contact all of them.

More Resources Available

For more information, you can contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-THE-LOST) or visit www.ncmec.org.

     Posted on January 1, 2007 at 7:08 pm | No comment

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