News Release


DATE: October 22, 2002

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



SAN DIEGO - What's the first thing a parent should do if a son or daughter is missing? That answer and other tips for parents are available now on the County's new 'Kid Safe' cards.

This week, the County will distribute 10,000 of the handy cards to family resource centers, libraries and sheriff's facilities throughout the region. The cards are about the size of an average credit card and are available in
English and Spanish.

"These cards are about protecting children from abduction before it happens" said Supervisor Dianne Jacob who spearheaded the effort to distribute the cards. "Parents can take steps to make children less attractive to abductors and the County is pleased to help," Supervisor Jacob said.

The cards feature tips for parents to share with children and tips exclusively for parents. On the back of the cards are important resource numbers to the National Crime Information Computer system (NCIC), the District Attorney's Office Child Abduction Unit and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Some of the information might strike parents as 'common sense' but, it's surprising how many parents don't know that it is not safe for a child's name to be visible on clothing, toys or books," said Supervisor Jacob. "Abductors use this information to their advantage," she said.

The cards advise parents to warn children about lending a hand to an adult who asks for help. This is one of the most common ways abductors take advantage of children.

The cards also urge parents to keep a current video of their child talking in a normal situation, fingerprints of their child and a current photo. These records should be kept in the same easily accessible location in the home.

There were 168 children missing without explanation in San Diego County last year, according to the State Department of Justice. Only one was classified as an abduction. The others may have been abductions but law enforcement officials only had enough information to classify them as "suspicious."