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Dover, DE 19901
1-866-734-5834 (toll-free)
FAX 302-674-8499

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Suite 101 Newark, DE 19713
302-366-8440 (not a toll-free number)
FAX 302-366-0287 

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Safety Tips for Parents to Prevent Missing Children

Teach Your Children:

  • Their full names, addresses and phone numbers.
  • How to make a long distance call (both directly to you using the area code and by dialing “O” for the operator).
  • Never to go into anyone’s home without your permission.  Children should know whose homes they are allowed to enter.
  • If they become separated from you while shopping not to look for you, but to go to the nearest checkout counter and ask the clerk (1) if he or she works there and (2) for assistance.  Never go to the parking lot.
  • To walk with and play with others. The child is most vulnerable when alone. If your child walks to school, have him/her walk with other children.
  • That adults do not usually ask children for directions.  If someone should stop in a car asking for directions, the child should not go near the car.
  • If someone is following them, they should go to a place where there are other people, to a neighbor’s home or into a store.  They should ask for help.  They should not try to hide behind bushes.
  • Never to go near a car with someone in it; never to get into a car without your permission.  They should know in whose car they are allowed to ride.  Warn your children that someone might try to lure them into a car by saying you said to pick them up.  Tell them never to obey such instructions.
  • That a stranger is someone they and you don’t know well.
  • Never to tell anyone over the phone that they are home alone.
  • Never to answer the door when home alone.  Teach your children how to call your community’s emergency assistance number.  Make sure that they know a neighbor they can call if someone tries to get into the house or if there is an emergency.
  • To tell you if any adult asks them to keep a “secret.”
  • That no one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable.  They have the right to say “no.”
  • To tell you if someone offers them gifts or money or wants to take their picture.
  • To yell  ”HELP”, not just scream.

As Parents You Should:

  • Know your children’s friends.
  • Never leave children unattended; never leave children alone in the car.
  • Be involved in your children’s activities.
  • Listen when your child tells you he or she does not want to be with someone; there may be a reason you should know about.
  • Notice when someone shows your child a great deal of attention and find out why.
  • Have your child’s fingerprints taken; know where to locate dental records.
  • Be sensitive to changes in your child’s behavior or attitudes. Encourage open communication. Never belittle any fear or concern your child may express to you.
  • Take a photograph of your child each year (four times a year for children under age 2).
  • Have a set plan with your child outlining what he/she should do if you become separated away from home.
  • Do not buy items that have your child’s name on them such as hats, jackets and t-shirts.  An abductor could start a friendly conversation with your child after reading the child’s name.
  • Make a game of reading license plate numbers and remembering their colors.  This will help children recognize the numbers and letters on license plates and their states of origin.
  • Be sure your children’s day care center or school will not release children to anyone but the children’s parents or persons they designate.  Instruct the school to call you if your child is absent.

Information courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children