To the Editor,
Parents, did you know that every 40 seconds a child goes missing or is abducted in the United States? According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children under the age of 18 go missing each year in the United States, with the average being 2,185 reported per day.
Parents, it is important to take precautionary steps in an effort to keep your children safe. The outstanding number of child abduction cases publicized nearly every day puts the parent’s job in a whole new perspective. Protecting your children from the dangers of this world, let alone the country, has become even more challenging.
Every child — no matter the age, gender or race — is vulnerable to any type of kidnapping or child abduction.
Our goal is to educate parents as well as children on the steps they can take to decrease the likelihood of these tragedies becoming a reality. Take steps such as keeping an updated photo of your child, having them fingerprinted, and if possible obtaining a DNA sample such as hair, an old toothbrush, or a used Band-Aid that contains blood. These steps can help if any critical situation occurs.
We want to keep all children safe in this country. Judging by the reports that have been in the news over the last six months, it is crucial to each and every community that we band together in an effort to protect our children from predators.
For additional information or tips about what or how to talk to your children regarding their safety, visit the website of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Mary Elizabeth Gonda