The Missouri Highway Patrol’s Missing Persons Unit reminds parents to review safety with kids, and have an ID kit ready in case the unthinkable happens.
Kids are out and about for summer, and the Highway Patrol is urging parents to have ID kids in case their child ends up missing. Missing Persons Unit Supervisor Corporal Erik Eidson says no one wants to think it can happen to their child, but… “In 2010, there were 6,706 juveniles reported as missing, there were 3,592 adults,” he says. “End of the eyar, there were 126 active case for children, 104 missing adults.”
Eidson says a full kit includes a recent photo, fingerprints, DNA, a physical description, and a description of distinguishing features such as scars or birthmarks. But of those, he says one item is essential, and that’s a recent photo. He says updating the photo annually is essential since kids grow and change so quickly.
Corporal Erik Eidson says GPS tracking on cell phones — a common feature these days — isn’t a bad idea.
Erikson says to review safety with children —
CHECK FIRST: Check first with a trusted adult before going anywhere or accepting anything from anyone.
TAKE A BUDDY: Don’t go out alone; always take a friend. If a child MUST go out alone, remind them to call first, stay on a protected path, and check in upon arrival.
SAY NO: Know that it’s OK to say, “NO!” Always tell a trusted adult if something makes them scared or uncomfortable.
BE SAFE: Remind children they always have the right to be safe.
The Highway Patrol heads up Child ID events to make cards — free of charge — for parents. Eidson says the patrol hosts about two a month, and can come to other areas of the state if requested.
For more on child safety, or to request a Child ID presentation at your even, contact Heather Edler with the Missing persons Clearinghouse at 573.526.6178 or online at www.mshp.dps.mo.gov. Information on all missing persons in Missouri can also be found on that website. To view an interactive map breaking down missing persons by county, visit http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/CJ51/map.jsp.