Every 40 seconds a child in the United States, becomes missing or abducted, according to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), “In 2017 NCMEC assisted law enforcement with more than 27,000 cases of missing children.”

While the likelihood of your child being abducted by a stranger is low overall, there still is that chance.

Never assume your child knows how to stay away from strangers; children are curious and friendly and those who lure children away recognize this.

Teach them to never get into a car with a stranger. Create a password system. If a friend or stranger attempts to pick up your child from school as an emergency or last minute situation, have your child ask for the password.

Establish solid communication with your child and stay involved in your child’s life. Know who your child’s friends are, where they live, and their telephone numbers.

Make certain that your child knows their full name and full names of parents, address and telephone number. Teach them to use the telephone and to call 9-1-1 if it’s an emergency.

Keep records of fingerprints, footprints, dental and doctor information, birthmarks and birth certificates. The Polk County Sheriff's Office offers Children Identification packets at no charge.

For more information or to schedule a “Stranger Danger” program for your child’s school or group, please contact the Crime Prevention Section at (863) 298-6677.

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