We’ve all been there. Saturday morning, a hectic rush between ballet lessons and hockey practice, and somewhere in between you grab a moment to stop by the grocery store to pick up some last minute meal items. You turn away for one second to look at the shelves to make your final decision between mac and cheese or spaghetti, and when you turn back around your five-year-old is nowhere to be seen. Panic immediately sets in. Where did they get to? And then you hear that little voice sneak up behind you and panic turns to relief.
As parents, it’s something we don’t want to think about, but at the same time it’s one of our biggest fears lurking in the dark recesses of our mind — for our child to somehow get lost or go missing, to be separated from them and not know where they are for even a moment. And although these types of incidences are rare, most parents have at some point of time or another experienced that feeling of anxiety and panic that can arise from briefly losing sight of their child.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s MissingKids.ca program has created a new important tool for parents to arm themselves with in the unlikely event their child gets lost or goes missing. The app provides parents with the security of immediately knowing what to do in order to quickly respond and safely locate their child. It’s an app called Find Me ID and it’s free to download on any iPhone or Android device. Simply put, this app is a modern day approach to the popular child ID cards. The minute parents download this app, it will prompt them to input important information about their child — including an updated photo of their child, a physical description and any special needs. The app is, of course, password protected and secure.
The most important part of this new resource is that in the event a child gets lost or goes missing, all of the information, the ‘electronic ID card’ per say, can be immediately forwarded by the parent to the police, emergency contacts and/or staff at MissingKids.ca. Through the Find Me ID app parents will also have access to information about immediate steps they can take should their child go missing.
Moving the important child ID card to an electronic platform enables parents to maintain the most current and up-to-date information about their child all in one place. Depending on the child’s age, the app will send parents reminders to update information and photos on a regular basis, so that they will always have their child’s most current information conveniently stored on their smartphone, should an emergency ever occur. It also allows parents to update photos of their child at practical times, such as right before the family attends a large event or an amusement park.
What cannot be overstated is that this is an app that every parent needs on their smartphone. It was important to us to be able to provide this app free-of-charge to parents, and this would not have been possible without supporters like TELUS.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has been involved in the search for missing children for 30 years and has used this knowledge to devise an app that will greatly help in the quick response and recovery of lost and missing children. We know that when a child goes missing, every second counts. The Find Me ID app gives parents piece of mind, that in the unlikely event their child goes missing, they are prepared and ready to respond so that child can quickly and safely be found.
To learn more about the app visit findmeid.ca.
Christy Dzikowicz | Director – MissingKids.ca Canadian Centre for Child Protection