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Unlike my usual blogs, this one more of a public service announcement and one that is relevant to us all. So, regardless of whether you are a parent, teacher, scout leader, physician, camp counselor, grandparent or neighbor, we are all part of a community and we are all called upon to keep children safe. Here is some valuable information we all need to know about.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of volunteering to work in my town at a Safety Event. My particular assignment was talking with parents about registering their children for Amber Alert.  I approached many parents; dads watching their children play in the Bouncy Castle, a mom wheeling a four week old in a carriage, couples with groups of children in their charge, a grandmother adjusting her grandchild’s bike helmet. Almost all had heard of the Amber Alert–some had previously registered and some had not. Once given the information on the importance of registering children and updating their information, a long line grew at the Amber Alert registration table as parents recognized that taking a moment out of the festivities now may go a long way in protecting their children later.

The Amber Alert is part of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s system to help protect and rescue children if they are lost or abducted. When a child is registered and they go missing, Amber Alert is activated in a matter of seconds-alerting the nation to the situation and thus empowering all of us to help find the missing child(ren) quickly.  When you register your child, you receive a card with a photo and identifying info- height, weight, hair color and specific identifying marks such as that mole on their left cheek, a crooked front tooth, or scar on their right foot. For more detailed information on Amber Alert and how it works, please click  http://amberchildid.org/

After the event I spoke with both friends and clients about the importance of the program. When they asked how to register their children I realized I did not know-other than attending events. So, I inquired through the police department and was directed to a number of links on the internet and…..

But wait; there is an App for that!

Now you no longer have to find an event to register your child! If you have a smart phone you are all set. While I am definitely not a techie, I am impressed by this smart phone App. One of the police officers had used App on his own phone to register his children’s information and enthusiastically demonstrated how it worked. You can register your child in a matter of minutes with the FBI simply by using this App on your phone. Furthermore, on any summer outing or trip to the mall, you can snap a new photo so you have a current picture that includes what your child is wearing THAT day. If your child goes missing, the App gives precise information and IMMEDIATELY activates, alerting law enforcement in your area. Precious time is gained and you don’t lose minutes trying to track down a police officer, find your Amber Alert card or try to recall what your child was wearing that day.

Here’s the link- Share it, forward it, talk about it. Send a memo out in your office or school or house of worship. Acting together we can make a difference.

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/august/child_080511

Happy Memorial Day! Let’s make is a safe and fun summer.

 

© 2013 Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist in private practice in Farmington, CT since 1986. She is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback.

2 Comments

  1. cj golden on the 26. May, 2013 remarked #

    Thank you, Donna – I have shared with my kids and grandkids and will now post on my social media sites.

    • Donna Ferber on the 26. May, 2013 remarked #

      Thanks CJ for helping spread the word. it is such a simple but important thing to do. Using the App, parents don’t have to wait for an “event” to register.

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