It can happen to anyone.
You’re at the park enjoying a beautiful day. Your child is playing happily with other children as you laugh and talk with other parents. You turn your back for a second, and in that instant, your child has vanished from sight. You call, but there’s no answer. Your eyes scan the area, but there’s no sign of your child. You ask others if they have seen your child. Most of us can only imagine the helpless panic and worry that sets in.
According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), there were 421,394 incidents reported of missing children in the U.S. alone in 2019. Many children are never reported missing, so there’s not a reliable way to determine the actual total number of kids who go missing.1 Where do you turn, what do you do if your child is among them?
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a child, here are some steps to take when you realize your child is missing.
1. Call your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Don’t wait! Taking action as soon as your child is missing is critical to bringing them home safely.2
- Authorities need the child’s vital statistics and identifying features
- Will ask for a recent photoidentifying features
- Will ask for a detailed description of what the child was wearing
2. Ask your law enforcement agency about its search plan
- In many communities, law enforcement agencies have an established plan, similar to an emergency relief or disaster plan, to guide their search and recovery efforts. Searches can be conducted in several ways, so be sure to ask what type search(es) are planned.3
3. Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
4. If your child is missing from your home:
- Search from top to bottom including closets, piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside large appliances
- Check vehicles, including in the trunk
- Search anywhere on your property your child could crawl or hide. Remember that kids have a knack for squeezing into spaces much smaller than you might think possible
5. If your child is missing in a store:
- Notify the store manager or security office. Many stores have a special code they use to announce to store associates that a child is missing in the store that puts them on the alert to look for a child. They will likely ask for your child’s name, age, height, weight, what they were wearing, and the area of the store you were in when you noticed she was missing
- Call law enforcement and NCMEC2
Whatever the reason a child is missing, parents’ lives can be turned upside down, and minutes quickly turn into hours as they frantically seek their child’s return to the safety of home. Time is of the essence and every minute counts. It’s certainly a given that emotions will be running high, which can lead to parents feeling overwhelmed and confused. This is where a Child Safe Kit® can be a valuable tool to distraught parents and law enforcement authorities.
Click here to order your no-cost Child Safe Kit®!
What is the Child Safe Kit®?
The Child Safe Kit® will help you record and store important information about your child that authorities will need in the event the child goes missing. With it, your child’s height, weight, eye color, hair color and style, blood type, fingerprints, photos, and even a DNA sample are conveniently stored in one place. In a time of extreme stress, your child’s information is readily accessible, so you aren’t burdened with having to hunt down photos, health data, etc. This helps save precious time, allowing authorities to concentrate on the search for your child.
How do I get a Child Safe Kit®?
Super easy! Click here to order your Child Safe Kit® today. You will receive everything you need to collect and store your child’s vital information. The Child Safe Kit® is also available as a mobile app. It allows you to keep information electronically on your phone, and in the event a child goes missing, you can easily share it with authorities. Download the Child Safe Kit® app on the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Why choose the Child Safe Kit®?
If you order the paper kit, you have the physical information in your possession. If you choose to download the app, the info is stored on your phone only. In either case, your child’s data is stored only with you.
When a child goes missing, every second counts. The Child Safe Kit® stores vital identifying information about your child that can help authorities in their search. Click here or download the app at the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Missing Children Statistics, (June 30, 2020)
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), What to do if your child is missing (June 30, 2020)
- U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide (June 30, 2020)
Categories: Infant/Toddler Safety, Safety Tips