It’s something that every parent fears; your child goes missing. It can happen without warning, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening.

Know Your Child’s School Schedule

Make sure you know exactly when your child is supposed to start school and what time they get out. You should also know when to expect them home. Make sure you are also aware of abbreviated days such as those for parent teacher conferences and final exams for older children.

Know Your Child’s Route to School

If your child is walking to and from school, make sure there is an agreed upon path to take on the way to school and the way home. You need to stress the importance of not deviating from this route. If possible, have your child walk with others to and from school. The same is true for a bus stop. Your child should go directly to the bus stop and directly home after the bus drops them off.

Make Sure Your Child has a Cell Phone

If your child is old enough to use a phone, then they should have access to one. It doesn’t need to be a smartphone, but simply one that can make phone calls as well as send and receive text messages. Even if your child is young and attending a birthday party without you, they should be able to contact you. If they are older and out with friends on a weekend, they can call you if they need a ride home.

Know Their Friends’ Parents

When children are at a friend’s home, they should always be supervised. Knowing the names and numbers of other parents is essential in case of an emergency. When parents have each other’s contact information, there is less likely to be a communication problem that can lead to a child being in jeopardy.

Know Their Friends

This is especially important in the teen years. At this time of their life, it is critical that you know who their friends are and have their friends’ phone numbers. If your teenager is missing, their friends are the first people you will want to contact. For a private investigator, they are often more important than parents in finding a runaway teenager.

The information above will reduce the chances of your child going missing, but if your child does go missing, the more information you have about their last known whereabouts, the quicker investigators can pick up the trail. In addition, you should always have a recent picture of your child to help a missing child investigation.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.