You have to know how to react when your child is missing

Although true abduction cases are very rare, sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you can't find your child. In this moment it's important to stay calm, and be prepared to get help immediately.

When you suspect your child is missing, first, dial 911 and request a police report be filed. Provide the police with as much information as possible, including your child’s name, sex, height and weight, but in particular remember to tell them what they were wearing when you last saw them. Then call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) to report your case.

If you lose sight of your child in your neighborhood
After you’ve made both phone calls, start a thorough search in your house, including closets, inside the vehicles, in and under beds or anywhere your child may crawl under, and also check your back yard and warehouse.

If you lose sight of your child in a store

If you happen to lose sight or track of your child in a store, notify the store manager or employee for help. Many stores have a “Code Adam” program in case child missing cases happen. “Code Adam” is a powerful search tool for lost and potentially abducted children and it is currently used in tens of thousands of establishments across the United States. Not only stores but also a lot of museums, hospitals or amusement parks are participating in this program now. It will be very helpful to you when you fall into a child missing situation.

When it happens, you may want to start pounding the pavement yourself, but you are strongly advised not to. The police are definitely more adept at dealing with child missing situation than you are, so what you should do is to spend your time on gathering every piece of information that might be helpful.

Other organizations you can reach out for help

Other than the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and local law enforcements which we’ve mentioned above, you can reach out to these organizations for help as well.

Child Find of America

Child Find of America is an organization aims at ‘bringing kids home’ and ‘keeping them safe’. Once you get in contact with them, they would set you up with an intake coordinator and assign a case manager to guide you through all the processes. When appropriate, they spread the information to public through their national media partners and internet. Child Find of America also provide family with emotional counselling and support.

The Office of Children’s Issues – Bureau of Consular Affairs

The Office of Children’s Issues in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has access to consular databases and other systems that may be very helpful with locating children who have been taken outside the United States. If you needed to contact INTERPOL or other law enforcement authorities, they can serve as a liaison in between.

U.S. Embassy or Consulate in another country

If your children happen to go missing in a foreign country, the U.S. embassy or consulate will be where you first go look for help. They can work with government officials in trying to locate your kids. Provide them with any details about your kids, including what they were wearing when you last saw them.

Keep all these in mind so you won’t be too panic to react properly. For more information check out this Parent Guide to Prevent Kidnapping

Author's Bio: 

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.