A parent’s worst nightmare is that his child may be lost or kidnaped. Not knowing which one is even worse. Since the onset of the Amber Alert system police are able to get information concerning the missing child out to the citizens quickly in hopes of finding the child soon. Officials know that the longer the child is missing the less the chances are for the child to be returned unharmed.
Heaven forbid, if you are ever confronted with the horrifying situation of having a missing child you can do your part to insure that correct information is given to police immediately. The sooner the information reaches the public the sooner concerned citizens will be on the lookout for your missing son or daughter. Compile a list of information about your child and keep one in different areas. If the information is valid the search can be on within minutes increasing the odds of having your child returned safely. Keep a card in your wallet or purse, one at home, one in the car and one on hand at the school where your child attends. It’s a good idea to suggest to the school administration that each parent be requested to fill out a card to keep in the child’s school records.
Of course, the card or paper should include be updated regularly and include your child’s name, address, birth date and hair color. If your child answers to any nicknames include this information. Height, weight and any noticeable scars or birthmarks should also be noted including a detailed location of the mark. Should the child receive a scar from a recent wound be sure and update the card. If the child experiences a growth spurt keep these facts updated. Write “clothing description” on the card then leave that line blank. You can quickly fill in the blank should the card be needed. Jewelry descriptions of pieces that are worn each day, should be kept on the permanent card.
Another important notation on the card should be whether or not the child takes any medications or has any physical or psychological problems. If there are none be sure and state this on the card, rather than leaving those in charge to wonder.
On the back of the card list friends and family along with their addresses and phone numbers. Often a missing child has actually just overstayed his time at a friend’s. Having all the acquaintances’ information in one place will make it easier for you to phone them in case your child hasn’t returned home. If you have made phone calls to look for your child, to no avail, checkmark the names to limit the amount of back-tracking necessary.
Make sure to put a notation on the card concerning any rivers, lakes, ponds, cliffs, woods or other treacherous areas where a child could be injured and unable to get home. A map of your general vicinity, including danger spots, can be very helpful. Although the police know the streets and shops of a community the residents are the ones who know the particulars about shortcuts, play areas and other locations in the neighborhood. If you’re aware of any sex offenders who are registered and live in the area a notation about the offenders should be listed on the card.
If your child ever does come up missing it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Many a child has been returned to his parents after being found at a friend’s, located in a nearby store, or picked up from wandering the streets – lost. Having a card with all your child’s current information will prevent police from having to spend extra time asking you these questions and writing down your responses. Update the card every few months and keep several copies in handy places. Your child’s live could depend on it.