According to FBI crime statistics, there are nearly 650,000 missing kids reported every year in the United States. As part of our back-to-school safety initiative, we are providing FREE Child ID Kits at both of our stores. More information about the kit is found below, but that’s just part of keeping our kids safe. We as parents know that the world can be a scary place and we don’t even like to think about the possibility of something bad happening to our kids. Part of educating our kids beyond reading and writing is instilling good safety habits.
Here are some tips to begin building a strong foundation of safety awareness:
- Talk about safety with you child in ways that teaches them to use caution and be aware of their surrounding.
- Encourage your child to trust their intuition and let them know they can come to you and tell you when something feels wrong.
- Do they know their name and address? Be sure they know their full name, address and phone number, as well as where you work and your phone number. Also teach them to dial 911 in an emergency.
- Teach your child the rules about strangers. Let them know that adults should not ask children for help, and adults should never threaten children. Make sure your child understands they should never go anywhere with an adult they don’t know — even if it is to help them find their missing puppy.
- Never label clothing, backpacks or personal items with your child’s name or information. This is an easy way for a stranger to approach your child and pretend to know your child and gain their trust.
- Teach your child what to do if they get lost or separated from you in a public place. Make a point to show them where to meet if they can’t find you and show them adults they can approach if they are in trouble, like police officers, firefighters, or store clerks if they get lost in a department store.
- Let your child know that their body belongs to them. No one has the right to touch them inappropriately. If someone is making them feel uncomfortable, let them know to tell you right away.
- Do you know where your child is? It sounds simple, but with the busy lives that we live and everyone seeming to be going in different directions, it’s easy to lose track. Keep a list of your child’s activities, and addresses and phone numbers for places they frequent. So, in the event of an emergency you, friends, or family can get to them quickly.
- Create a secret Code Word. Tell your child that if anyone approaches them and says they are a family friend, they must ask for the code word. If the person is really a friend, they will know the word. If they don’t know the code word, tell you child to run away as quickly as possible.
- Remember to update your child’s records every few months. Younger children grow and change quickly and even small changes in height, weight and hair styles can significantly alter their appearance. Most people have phones with a camera, so take frequent pictures of them. It’s also a good idea to note any birthmarks, scars or other identifying marks in addition to their physical characteristics like hair and eye color.
There is no waiting period required to report a missing child to the police.
In the event your child does go missing, it’s important to have the latest and most up-to-date identification records for them. Many lost and abducted children can be recovered if parents can provide police with a complete record of identification. The Child ID Kits that are available at our stores will help parents create a confidential and comprehensive record of their child’s personal and medical information to immediately give to police. Every second is important when searching for missing children and most of us would not be thinking clearly if such an event should occur. This FREE kit will help save time and speed up the search process.
Each kit is individually packaged in a heavy gauge, clear, protective plastic sleeve and contains:
- A 1”x 5” non-toxic fingerprinting ink strip
- A heavy gauge freezer-safe bag for a DNA hair sample or cheek swabs
- Space to record complete contact, personal, medical, and physical information
- Space to store a 4” x 6” photograph
- A 10-finger fingerprint chart
- Dental charts for permanent and baby teeth
- Two pages of essential educational safety tips
Store the booklet in a safe, accessible place, and update it annually (or every few months if you have small children).
Come by our store in Hampstead or Rocky Point and get your free kit today!