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Five Steps to Be Prepared

In the event that a child is missing, a parent or guardian should take these steps to help law enforcement search for and identify the child.

Keep a Complete Description

A description includes the color of the hair, eyes, height, weight, and date of birth. Also include anything that might help identify your child such as eyeglasses, braces, marks, and scars.


Have a Color Photograph of Your Child

Have an updated color photograph of your child available. Head and shoulder photos are preferable. Update the photograph every six (6) months.


Have Your Dentist Prepare Dental Charts

Make sure that your dentist prepares and maintains accurate and up-to-date dental charts and x-rays on your child as part of his or her routine dental visits. If you move, make sure to request a copy for yourself and your new dentist.


Know Where Your Child's Medical Records Are Located

Medical records, particularly x-rays, can be invaluable tools in helping to identify your child. It is important to have all scars, blemishes, and broken bones recorded. Ask your doctor where these files are located and how to obtain them if the need arises.


Arrange to Have Your Child Fingerprinted with MPDC

The Metropolitan Police Department has trained personnel to properly take fingerprints. The police department will give you the fingerprint card and will not keep a record of the child's prints. For more information on how to arrange for fingerprinting, please contact Youth and Preventive Services Division at (202) 576-6768.