National Missing Children’s Day is approaching on May 25. On this annual observance, the U.S. Department of Justice commemorates the exemplary and heroic efforts of organizations and individuals who work to protect children. One agency that leads the fight against abduction and abuse of children is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
More than 800,000 children go missing in the U.S. each year. Some of these children are victims of abduction while others are runaways. Regardless of the reasons for a child’s disappearance, parents and government agencies work tirelessly to find them. Here are some key tactics:
- AMBER Alert – This is the acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The system has a very broad reach and can communicate across multiple channels to mobilize the community to find missing children.
- Private investigators – Police work hard to find missing children, and private investigators can be a useful supplement. Private investigators have their own resources and methods for tracking down missing kids.
- Websites – Many websites serve as clearinghouses for information on missing persons. They also list children who were found away from their homes.
- Camera systems – We have seen high profile cases with children kidnapped from their own bedrooms. Parents can install security camera systems to record activity in and around the home.
- Public involvement – Parents of abducted children spread the word with posters, pamphlets, and appearances on news broadcast to enlist people in their search.
Child-proofing your kitchen
While child abduction is on the radar this month due to National Missing Children’s Day, there are a number of other dangers facing kids, and some of them occur in the home. The home must be properly child-proofed—especially the kitchen, which is often the most risk-laden room in the house.
To childproof your kitchen, throw out seldom-used cleaning products that can harm children such as drain cleaner and bleach. If you need to store them in the kitchen, make sure that they are out of the reach of children. Put plugs in electrical outlets and locks on drawers and cabinets that contain sharp objects such as knives. If you have small items that could be choking hazards, remove them from the kitchen or store them in a locked storage space.
If you have youngsters who enjoy climbing, make sure to attend them at all times in the kitchen. This can keep them from falling off of high surfaces or pulling down large furniture pieces on top of themselves.