If Your Child Goes Missing- What To Do
When Adam Walsh was missing in 1981, his parents couldn’t even get the FBI interested in launching an immediate search.
Awareness has changed considerably since then.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has advice on what to do if your child is missing.
- First- search the closets, piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside vehicles and trunks, appliance boxes, wherever a child may hide.
- Call your local law enforcement immediately.
- Most stores have policies to quickly look for children, called Code Adam. Alert the store manager immediately or security office. Then call your local law-enforcement agency.
- Be prepared to provide your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and any other identifiers such as what they are wearing, glasses or braces.
- Have law enforcement put the child’s name immediately into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File.
Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) to register your lost child immediately.
Avoiding Problems This Holiday
Adam’s mother had left him briefly at a video arcade at the Sears store. When a 17-year old guard reportedly told a group of kids to leave the store, 6-year old Adam went with them and was left behind.
The National Center says ALWAYS accompany your young children to the restroom and never leave them at any video arcade, public areas, movie theatres, or playgrounds. Store personnel are not trained to supervise and care for your children.
During the holiday season, arrange for a pre-designated spot at the sales counter or information booth if you are separated from your child while shopping. Tell them to look for a person with a nametag or security officer.
Tell them never to leave the store to go to your car or to look for you.
A trip to the mall can be a “teachable” experience with your children. Help them identify someone to contact if they need assistance.
Older children should always take a friend and work in the buddy system. #