While idly waiting to pick up a prescription for a friend at a local pharmacy, I saw a display item that was called “Child Print ID Kit.” So, being curious and slightly bored, I opened the packet and found that it contained an amazing resource for parents of minor children that I feel compelled to tell you about.
This eight-paneled pamphlet guides you to provide written and material information about your child that can be vital in the, hopefully unlikely, event your child goes missing.
Not just the name, address and social security type info, this pamphlet lets you identify areas of the child’s body where they may have a birthmark or scar and check points for things like contact lenses or glasses or prosthetics of any sort.
It has room for a recent photo of the child and a panel for finger prints. What? Yes. The packet even includes an ink strip and directions on how to properly print your child. There’s also a place for the dentist to complete information about your child’s teeth.
I was very impressed with this packet. What really got my attention was the enclosed zip-lock bag and its directions. It instructs you how to freeze either a lock of the child’s hair or cheek swabs so that DNA can be ascertained.
I can only imagine the feeling of anxiety and fear one might feel if all of a sudden a child isn’t where he or she is supposed to be. Having this packet on hand for each child should make it easier for you to provide that pertinent information to law enforcement if the need arises.
If your local pharmacist doesn’t have these kits on hand you can go to www.yoursafechild.com and purchase them along with other safety items and tips for you and your children.
“The FBI estimates that at least 2,300 children are reported missing every day. The primary way to help your child to stay safe is to begin educating them about how to react in certain situations and with certain people, beginning at around age three or four. At this age range, children are open and receptive to learning information, and will retain it for the future,” Yoursafechild’s website says.
Among the tips from Yoursafechild.com is that from a very young age it’s important to teach your children safety in a calm, non-threatening way. Don’t frighten them, but teach them to be cautious so they recognize when something or someone isn’t safe.
“Make sure that your child knows his or her full name, address, and phone number, the place where you work or can be contacted, and how to dial 911,” they advise. “Know where your child is at all times, and keep a list of their friends, addresses and phone numbers. Remember to update your child’s records every six to 12 months because of his or her growth.”
If your child goes missing, Yoursafechild’s website says to “try not to panic. First check everywhere in the house, then check with your neighbors and your child’s friends. If you still cannot locate them, immediately call the police.” Remember that there is no waiting period required to report a missing child to the police.
As for instructing your children about safety, they suggest doing it in a relaxed non-threatening way. You don’t want to make your children fearful, just careful. Adult predators don’t look like monsters, they mostly look like normal people and they have tactics that your children should be aware of.
We’ve all heard about the “help me find my puppy” scenario and the “here’s some candy for you” ploy. For those two there are probably a hundred others. Children should be wary of strangers, but not frightened by them. Children should be taught how to raise their voices to say “No” when approached by someone that makes them feel uncomfortable.
The Yoursafechild.com’s website has a lot of great tips. I encourage you to check it out. My phone sends me Amber alerts all too often. Let’s keep our little ones as safe as possible.
Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. She can be reached at 264-4029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.