When a child is missing, every moment counts. Taking a few minutes to prepare now, could save precious time in an emergency.
In the U.S., a child is reported missing every 40 seconds. “And when it does, people will be like this isn’t real, this can’t be happening, and they haven’t prepared,” said NHC Chief Deputy Ed McMahon.
Getting prepared only takes a few minutes. “If the parents would have digital photographs on a jump drive or something like that that they could give to us, we could get the picture out real, real quick,” McMahon noted.
It’s also important to have a child ID kit. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has them for free. “With the ID kits, we have inkless fingerprints, we’ve also got an area where the parent can put all the necessary information about their child, they can have it with them. New to this is a swab where the parent can keep the DNA sample. This is all kept by the parent so if something ever did happen, the parent would have everything we could possibly need.”
Without a kit like this, it could take hours to gather all the critical information law enforcement needs to search for your child.
In a state of panic, remembering details like height, weight, and birthmarks may be difficult. That’s why having the ID kit in a safe place at home and the laminated card in your wallet is so important.
Katrina Cantrell has a card she keeps in her wallet at all times. “I have a missing/exploited children’s card that has her name, age, and our address and phone number in case anything ever happened to her.”
She’s now preparing child ID kits for all of her kids.
Law enforcement officers will be handing out child ID kits for free this Saturday at the Independence Mall. They will be hanging out near the Easter Bunny, from 11:00-3:00.