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Missing Children: Tips for parents and caregivers

4/25/2018
File image of children playing on a jungle gym. © REUTERS/Tyrone Siu File image of children playing on a jungle gym.

This information has been reprinted with permission from the U.S.-based Global Missing Children's Center

Every day, all around the world, children go missing. In partnership with others, The Global Missing Children's Center works to protect children from going missing or being abducted by providing resources on prevention as well as the appropriate actions to take in the event a child does go missing.

The following is a primer for parents and caregivers

Teach them their number.

Make sure your child knows his or her full name, home address and telephone number. Include this contact information in their backpack, coat, etc. Teach your child not to share this information with anyone he or she does not know without your permission.

Take a picture

Get into the habit of taking an updated picture of your child each year. This should be a head and shoulder forward-facing photograph with the hair down and no makeup or face paint.

Be prepared when in crowds.

It is important to be prepared when going into crowded places. Dress your child in bright, recognizable clothing that is easily seen if he or she should get separated, and be sure to designate a central location where your child knows to meet you if he or she gets lost.

Practice safe social media.

Talk to your children about the risks of sharing too much information on social media. Explain how “checking in” on social netoworks and sharing location information or routines can have negative consequences.

Listen and ask questions.

Listen if your child says someone makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Ask questions to better understand why. It is important for children to learn to trust their instincts.

The Global Missing Children's Center falls under the umbrella of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, a U.S.-based non-profit whose mission is to "identify gaps in the global community’s ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, and assemble the necessary people, resources and tools."

Resources:

The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children

The Missing Children Society of Canada 

A special message from MSN:

This month we're working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Missing Children Society of Canada, and Baby Come Home to help reunite kids with their families. Together, we're making progress. Baby Come Home is using Microsoft facial recognition to identify missing kids in crowds, for instance, and the Missing Children Society of Canada has scaled its powerful social media tools to millions more people using the Microsoft cloud. You can help, too. Please consider donating your time or money now.

Donate Today: Help bring kids home

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