Missing Child Statistics and What They Mean For Your Family

A news story about a child who has gone missing affects everyone within the community, even if they do not personally know the child. Those who know the missing child, or those who have children around the same age as the missing child, are especially affected by such news. The crime of child abduction will have an impact lasting many years.

2000 missing child reports every day

Statistics from the FBI National Crime Information Center show that parents call 911 over two thousand times every single day to report a child who is missing. Most of these children are found within just a few minutes or hours. Rarely, a child cannot be located for more than a day. It is these long-term disappearances that make national headlines.

The stereotype of a stranger abducting a small child occurs approximately 115 times each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Although these cases have a lasting impact on the memories of those affected by the abduction, statistically a child abduction committed by a stranger is actually quite rare. Far more often, a child is taken by someone they know. In fact, the most common child abductions are committed by family members (more than 200,000 times each year). Despite this statistic, it is important to recognize that children may be abducted either by strangers or by people they know. Though statistics show that a stranger abduction is uncommon, this fact offers little comfort to the parents of a missing child, and parents must be prepared for both possibilities.

Online Predators Target Children

While you might think that stranger abductions always occur in public places like sidewalks or shopping malls, there is a new threat just coming to light. Increasingly, children are lured by information posted online by predators. Children or teens who participate on online chats or are active on MySpace or other social networking hubs may be talking to people who they don’t know in real life. This creates an opportunity for predators to create a fake persona to prey on unsuspecting children.

As the parent of a young child, you might be wondering what you can do to maximize child safety. In this situation, education is your best tool. Children must be warned of the dangers posed by strangers, as well as the potential danger of acquaintances, authority figures, or even members of their own family. As a parent, you must walk a fine line between giving your child necessary security information and scaring them about the harsh realities of the modern world. It is also your responsibility to take safety precautions like locking doors and windows and keeping the computer in a public area of the home.

It is not enough to tell your kids to “just say no” to strangers. Kids are physically smaller and easier to overpower than adults. Luckily, there are devices created to protect even the smallest child. A personal alarm helps your child get the attention of nearby adults. There are even panda bear child alarms to make your child more comfortable carrying the alarm.

What should you do if your child goes missing, even just for a minute? In this time of panic, try to stay calm. Your first step should be a call to the police. They can help you search for your missing child, and can issue an Amber Alert. This system has already resulted in the recovery of nearly 500 children. The police can bring together the vast resources of the public, the media, and other law enforceent agencies, in order to bring your child back quickly and safely.

Tara was born in England and moved to USA in 1998. Together with her husband James she started the Resist Attack website in 2009 to make available a wide variety of personal safety products and to educate families on how to stay safe. So far they have published over 250 articles on the subject.

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