Children are a huge part of a parent’s life. The whole goal of a parent is to keep their child safe and happy. Unfortunately, in 2019, there were more than 29,000 cases pertaining to missing children.1 One of the best ways to help prevent these situations is by understanding how kids are going missing, as well as what to do if your child is missing. Here is a recap of the 2019 statistics on missing children.
Of the 29,000+ Cases for Missing Children1:
- - 91% endangered runaways
- - 4% family abductions
- - 4% critically missing young adults, ages 18 to 20
- - 1% lost, injured, or otherwise missing
- - 1% nonfamily abductions
While knowing the ways children go missing allows you to recognize situations your children may get into that are potentially harmful, it’s useful to know how to go about finding your child if you find yourself in this situation.
Step #1: Call the Police ASAP
It’s important to notify your local law enforcement agency. They have specific procedures for going about situations like these, and can help you to cover more ground. It might be beneficial to ask them to send out an Amber alert, as well as enter your child’s name into the National Crime Information Center Missing Persons database.3
Step #2: Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The number for the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children is 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).2 They specialize in these difficult situations and will be able to further assist you.
Step #3: Search Through Hiding Spots Within the Home
Some spots you may have over looked include but aren’t limited to:
- Pools and other high danger areas3
- In and under beds
- Piles of laundry
- Cars, including trunks
- Inside large appliances2
- Neighbors’ houses3
It can be distressing to not know where your children are. If your child is missing, remember to contact the police to file a report. Proceed to call the national center in order to get further instructions in hopes of a safe return. Be sure to check in hiding spaces around the home, as well as with your neighbors on the off chance they are playing games and having fun. Educate your children on stranger danger and other good safety habits for them to practice for the most preventative results.
Categories: Child Safety Ages 4-11, Infant/Toddler Safety, Tweens/Teen Safety