According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a child in the U.S. goes missing every 40 seconds. To help parents prepare for that ultimate nightmare, the FBI has released a free iPhone app called Child ID.
Two features built into the Child ID app can help parents react quickly and accurately if their child suddenly goes missing, says the FBI.
First, parents can store on their iPhones recent pictures of their children along with vital statistics: age, height, weight, distinguishing marks, and so on. If a child goes missing—say, at a shopping mall or an amusement park—parents can summon help from dedicated links to 911 and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Once law enforcement arrives on the scene, parents will have, literally on-hand, all the info needed to help locate the missing child. More important, the app lets parents easily e-mail that important data to the proper authorities as needed.
Second, the app contains safety tips on how to prevent child abductions as well as “specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing,” says the FBI‘s website.
The FBI stressed that the app does not collect or store any of the information that parents put into the app. All that data reside on parents’ iPhones—unless parents, unfortunately, need to share the info to help locate their missing child.
For now, the app is available for iPhones only. But the FBI hopes to have versions available for other platforms soon.
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