INDIANAPOLIS -- When your child goes missing, every second counts and having their information readily available can save precious time when you're trying to find them.
Every year, more than 400,000 children go missing in this country.
Unfortunately, frantic parents are often left scrambling to remember basic information about their children.
Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Andrew Sheler says having that information available can be an invaluable resource if your child is ever abducted or wanders away.
"You're in a tense situation because you are worried about your child and where they may be, so you're stressed already, and trying to get that valuable information of the height, weight, color of eyes, style of hair, what they were wearing last, the clothing, anything of that nature that is valuable to us," said Sheler.
If you have your children’s information ready to go, that can save valuable time.
Police recommend creating a child identification card or kit, which includes a current photograph, height, weight, eye and hair color, as well as their fingerprints.
You can also gather dental records and even DNA.
IMPD offers child identification kits that allow you to gather a hair sample.
"You can actually take DNA, which would be a hair sample as long as it has the root of the hair follicle,” said Sheler. “Tape it to it, and you always have it. This would not need to be kept in the freezer. "
IF YOUR CHILD GOES MISSING:
- Call 911
- Show police your Child’s ID card (or info you’ve gathered)
- Check your home and favorite play areas
- Report it to 1-800-THE-LOST
Police recommend you frequently take pictures of your children and at the very least, take one good photograph every year and keep it with you.
“Children grow at a rapid pace,” said Sheler. “Faces change often; hairstyles often change as well."
Every day, take note of what your child is wearing.
You can get a child ID kit by contacting your local police department, using an app to create one on your phone, or by ordering one online.
IMPD Child ID Kits and Fingerprints:
9 am to 4 pm
1150 S. Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Order a Child ID online: