There were some 465,000 children reported missing in the US in 2016. Every day, all around the world, children go missing. In partnership with others, The Global Missing Children’s Center works to protect children from going missing or being abducted by providing resources on prevention as well as the appropriate actions to take in the event a child does go missing.
Tips for parents and caregivers:
Teach them their number.
Make sure your child knows his or her full name, home address and telephone number. Include this contact information in their backpack, coat, etc. Teach your child not to share this information with anyone he or she does not know without your permission.
Take a picture
Get into the habit of taking an updated picture of your child each year. This should be a head and shoulder forward-facing photograph with the hair down and no makeup or face paint.
Be prepared when in crowds.
It is important to be prepared when going into crowded places. Dress your child in bright, recognizable clothing that is easily seen if he or she should get separated, and be sure to designate a central location where your child knows to meet you if he or she gets lost.
Practice safe social media.
Talk to your children about the risks of sharing too much information on social media. Explain how “checking in” on social networks and sharing location information or routines can have negative consequences.
Listen and ask questions.
Listen if your child says someone makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Ask questions to better understand why. It is important for children to learn to trust their instincts.
The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children