Act immediately if you believe your child is 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
- If your child is missing from home, search through:
- 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.
- 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.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Retrieved from http://www.missingkids.com/gethelpnow/missingchild
Aneeta Pearson, MSW, MS
(c) 2017-2019 ANEETA PEARSON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED