Immediate Action if Your Child Goes Missing

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommends these tips of immediate action if you notice your child is missing:

What to Do:
  • If your child is missing, search the house checking closets, piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside large appliances, and inside vehicles, including trunks—wherever a child may crawl or hide.
  • If you still cannot find your child, immediately call your local law enforcement agency.
  • If your child disappears in a store, notify the store manager or security office. Then immediately call your local law-enforcement agency. Many stores have a Code Adam plan of action— if a child is missing in the store, employees immediately mobilize to look for the missing child.
  • When you call law enforcement, provide your child's name, date of birth, height, weight, and any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed that your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.
  • Request that your child's name and identifying information be immediately entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File.
  • After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) on our toll-free telephone number: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). Or you can use our Live Hotline to talk to NCMEC through our web site.

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Sources: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 

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