Know Their Routes and Schedules
Whether your child is 8 or 16, it is always a good idea to know where they are or where they are going. Establish channels of communication with your child, so that they feel comfortable sharing their plans with you. If they are going to the park, know the route they will take to get there and back. If they're going out with friends, have them update you periodically about where they are going, even if it's just via text. Knowing where your child was and what roads they may have taken can make it easier for police to track them down.
Keep Recent Photos
These days, it's easier than ever to have a recent photo of your child. If you're not an avid picture taker, make sure to snap a clear photo of your child at least every few months so that you can have a recent photo to show police if your child ever goes missing. Remember, younger children's appearances can change more rapidly than that of older children, so if you have a very young child, you should take their photo more often.
Have a Child ID Kit
In addition to having recent photos, you should look into child ID kits for law enforcement. Police stations often provide these for free, and they will help you to put together a kit that will make it easier for police to find and identify your child. These kits can include things like photos, physical descriptions, information about any medical issues, and sometimes even include fingerprints. Having one of these on hand at all times gives police everything they need to help find your child.
Try to Stay Calm
As frantic as you will feel in this situation, you need to try to keep a level head. The police need you thinking clearly and communicating calmly so that they can get all of the information they need to find your child. If you're prepared with child ID kits and the other information listed above, it will be easier to remain calm and help the police find your child.
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