Saturday — May 21, 2022
National Missing Children's Day - Keep Your Kiddo Safe
by: Cesar J Segura
Throughout May, there are many awareness campaigns, including Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, and the World Day for Cultural Diversity (5/21). Among all of these is another often overlooked day, National Missing Children’s Day, which takes place on May 25th. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports on average, there is an estimated 460,000 children reported missing annually in the United States. In a more alarming statistic, the FBI also reports that out of these 460,000 students, 1 in every 10,000 is a victim of murder. The United States is often shown as one of the countries with the highest numbers of missing children. The numbers are alarming and do affect every population within the US. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates they conducted an intake of over 1900 cases of Native American children who went missing between 2009-2019.
Now, though the information previously provided is very alarming, there are many things experts recommend to protect children from going missing. These include:
- Have ID photos taken of your child every 6 months and have them fingerprinted at least once
- Set boundaries with your children on where they can go and cannot go alone/with friends
- NEVER leave kids alone in the car/stroller
- Check references on childcare providers or babysitters and choose them carefully.
- Avoid dressing your children in clothing that has their names on it (children often trust persons who know their names)
- Discuss with your kids about talking to strangers
- Have your child memorize a parent’s phone number
- Ensure your child knows your legal name so they can relay it to the authorities.
If your child does go missing, it is vital to contact proper authorities right away. The first 30 minutes are the most important for a response. Together, we can teach children safety methods to ensure fewer children go missing in the United States.