Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SafeAssured ID and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® remind Families to Discuss Safety as Kids Head Back to School

As millions of children take to the streets and roadways to head back to school this fall, SafeAssured ID and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) urge parents and guardians to make child safety a priority. In addition to reminding families of the importance of keeping an up-to-date digital photo of their children, SafeAssured ID will be featuring “Back to School” safety tips from NCMEC child safety experts on their website at www.safeassured-id.com.

The tips recognize that parents and guardians may need some help discussing child safety and are meant to empower them to start this conversation with their children to prepare for a safer school year. Tips include:

Instruct your child to always take a friend when walking or riding his or her bike to and from school.

If anyone bothers your child while going to or from school, you should teach him or her to get away from that person, and tell you or another trusted adult.

Teach your children to never leave school with anyone they don’t know.

“Children do not have the same frame of reference for safety as adults and that’s why it’s important to work on helping them develop strong safety skills,” said Nancy A. McBride, NCMEC’s National Safety Director. “We would like to see families make talking about child safety part of their regular back-to-school routine like shopping for school supplies, and we are grateful to SafeAssured ID for helping us put this information in the hands of parents, guardians and children all across the country.” SafeAssured ID first partnered with NCMEC in 2003 and the partnership has long emphasized the power of digital photographs and child IDs in the search for a missing child. Designed to provide peace of mind for families, while protecting privacy, the SafeAssured ID kit contains an encrypted mini-cd including:

up to ten digital fingerprints,
digital photograph,
streaming video showing mannerisms and gait,
voice track providing the youth’s voice inflection and accent,
general physical description,
vital personal information (street address, date of birth, life-threatening medical conditions, identifying scars or marks, and tattoos),
and family code word.

The mini-cd can be shared with law enforcement, the media, and the community within moments of a child’s disappearance to aid in the search. Families also receive a durable, full-color photo ID card, and a Parents Guidebook, written in conjunction with NCMEC, containing helpful safety information.

“NCMEC plays an extremely valuable role in keeping our children safer,” said Ken Hofmaster, President of SafeAssured ID. “We are proud to share their commitment to that mission and hope that every family will take the time to review these tips before sending their children off to school. It has always been our hope that every child would have access to SafeAssured ID technology, but never need to use it.”

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