Tips for Parents – What to do if your child gets lost

1. Calm Down
Panic is not going to help your child. It may even slow
down the search.  Take
a deep breath. Count to ten or do whatever it takes so you can
concentrate on finding your child.

 2. Secure Siblings 
If you have other children with you, find someone to watch
them. Leave them with another adult in the party or the store
manager or another trustworthy adult.

 3. Use Your Voice
and Search 
Your lost child can’t see you, but they may be able to
hear you.  Call out,
using a calm, not panicky tone. Tell them that everything will be
ok and that they should stay put. 
You will come and find them. Search your home and check
with relatives, neighbors and friends.

 4. Get Help  Notify security guards, the store manager, life guards and
other employees.  Large
malls, beaches and theme parks often have standard search

5. Call The Police  If your child isn’t found within several minutes, contact
the police.   Give
your name and location and ask that they send help. Limit access
to your home until law enforcement officers arrive and are able to
collect evidence

6. Go Public    If there is a public address system, ask that it be used to
announce that a child has been lost. You’ll get more eyes and
ears on your side, and on the remote chance that your child is
being abducted, the page may alert others to intervene. It should
note the child’s first name and appearance but not be directed
towards the child.

 7. Give Details  
Tell the search party what your child was wearing and
carrying and when and where you last saw them.  Give
them a complete physical description.

 8. Look Actively   Trace your steps back to where you last saw the child or to
a spot that he is drawn to, like the dinosaur exhibit at the

 9. Go National   Request
that you
r child’s name and identifying information be
immediately entered in the National Crime Information Center
Missing Person file.  Call the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children ( NCMEC) at 1-800- THE-LOST to find out
what resources are available.  Also call the Wisconsin
Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children (WCMEC) at

 Information on Tips for Parents section
was taken from Parenting Magazine, August 2002 issue. 
By Betsy Rubiner and the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children.

for Parents – Be Prepared in case your child gets lost

  1. Keep
    a complete description of your child on hand.

  2. Take
    color photographs of your child every six months. Parents
    should use their cell phone camera to snap a quick picture of
    their kid every few weeks and every time they take their kid
    to a big public place like a park, mall or festival. 
    That way they will always have the picture w/ them and have an
    updated version w/ the kids clothing if they need to contact
    the police if their kid goes missing in a busy place. 

  3. Have
    your dentist prepare and maintain dental charts for
    your child and be sure they are updated each time dental work
    is performed

  4. Know
    where your child’s medical records are located

  5. Arrange
    with your local law enforcement agency to have your child
    fingerprinted and keep the fingerprints in a safe and
    easily accessible place.

  6. Keep
    a DNA sample from your child, like an old toothbrush in
    a brown envelope licked closed by your child, at room
    temperature in a dry, easily accessible place that is away
    from heat. 


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