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Is your child missing?


Download this checklist of actions to be taken by families in the initial stages of a missing child case. If you have any questions call the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678). If you are not located in the United States, call your country's hotline.

What to do if your child is missing

  • Immediately call your local law enforcement agency.

  • After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678).

  • If your child is missing from home, search through:

  • Closets.

  • Piles of laundry.

  • In and under beds.

  • Inside large appliances.

  • Vehicles – including trunks.

  • Anywhere else that a child may crawl or hide.

  • Notify the store manager or security office if your child cannot be found when in a store. Then immediately call your local law enforcement agency. Many stores have a Code Adam plan of action in place.

  • When you call law enforcement

  • Provide law enforcement with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight, and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.

  • Request law enforcement authorities immediately enter your child’s name and identifying information into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.

How NCMEC can help

When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide
Download • 3.07MB

Missing-Child, Eme rgency-Response, Quick-Reference Guide for Families
Download • 206KB

When Your Child Is Missing_ A Family Survival Guide- spanish
Download • 2.10MB

When Your Child Is Missing_ A Family Survival Guide
Download • 3.07MB

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