Six Steps That You Should Take Now To Be Prepared in case your child might someday be missing.

1. Keep a complete description of your child.  This description must include color of hair, eyes, height, weight, and date of birth.  In addition, the descriptions should include identifiers such as glasses or contact lenses, braces on teeth, pierced ears, and other unique physical attributes.  The com-plete description must be written down.

2. Take color photograph of your child every six months.  Photographs should be of high quality and in sharp focus so that your child is easily recognizable.  Head and shoulder portraits from different angles, such as those taken by school photographers, are preferable, but make certain that you have a photograph that most resembles your child.   Candid photographs may be more representative of how your child looks than a posed one.

3. Have your dentist prepare dental charts for your child, and be sure that they are updated each time an examination or dental work is performed.  Make sure that your dentist maintains accurate, up-to-date dental charts and x-rays on your child as a routine part of his or her normal office procedure.  If you move, you should get a copy from your dentist to keep yourself until a new dentist is found.  Make certain that the information is easily accessible should you need it quickly.

4. Know where your child's medical records are located.  Medical records, particularly x-rays, can be invaluable in help9ng to identify a recovered child.  It is important to have all permanent scars, birthmarks, blemishes, and broken bones recorded.  You should find out from your child's doctor where such records are located and how you can obtain them if the need arises.

5. Arrange with your local law-enforcement agency to have your child fingerprinted.   In order for fingerprints to be useful in identifying a person, they must be properly taken.  They  have trained personnel that will ensure that they are properly done so the the prints w9ill be useful.  They will give you the fingerprint card and will not keep a record of the child's prints.

6. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), is as unique as a set of fingerprints.  There are kits available over the internet or you can make a homemade kit.  For the homemade kit to to this web page:   This web site has some very useful information on what to do if your child is missing.

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children