RENO, NV - We saw it Thursday: a little girl unknowingly walks away from her home and gets lost. Her story has a happy ending, but are you taking the proper steps to make sure your family is ready should a child go missing?
"It can happen very quickly," said Bob Harmon with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
You'll never be fully prepared, but you can take steps now that could help find your child faster in the future.
"The most important thing you can have is a photo of the child, the most updated photo or the more updated the photo is, the better," said Harmon.
You'll also want height, weight, age, physical characteristics, fingerprints, dental records, and DNA... everything possible to help identify your child.
"It has been shown that 42% of parents cannot give an accurate description of their child," said Rod Stahl with Child ID.
Rod Stahl realized this problem 15 years ago. He started Child ID, a free service in Northern Nevada that helps parents gather pertinent information before their kid goes missing.
"This is something that they can give to a police officer, so you immediately know who they are looking for," said Stahl.
There are also apps like the "my family wallet" section of Alert ID. It stores the same information in mobile format. The difference here is that you can constantly update photos and data.
"Every missing child, call no matter how short of a call it is, is important to us," said Harmon.
So your kid goes missing, you've got all the information on them. You took a picture that morning, you even know the outfit they are wearing. But, what else should you have done?
"Walk around with your child and look for safe places," said Harmon.
Remind your kids to stay put while lost; they won't be in trouble when they are found. They should know mom and dad by name and they should memorize your phone number.
Below is a list of upcoming Child ID Events.
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 11:00 to 3:00 pm, Cabela’s, 8650 Boomtown Road, Reno. Great Fall Outdoor Days event. Many activities and sales scheduled. Straight in from the front doors to the rear by the animal mountain.
Sunday, August 31, 2014, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, End of Summer Reading Program at Spanish Springs Library, 7100A Pyramid Hwy, Sparks. Making solar ovens and cooking lunch with them; ice cream in a bag; balloon rocket cars and racing them and could be a magic workshop or a strolling magician.
Saturday, September 13, 2014, 11:00 am to 4:00, Reno Air Races at Stead Airport by the Lost & Found Trailer.
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 4:00 to 7:00 pm, Customer Appreciation Day, Sala Family Denistry, 4875 Summit Ridge Drive, Reno. Food, music and many children activities. Large turnout.
Saturday, October 18, 2014, 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Lions Club Eye Ball at Boys & Girls Club, 2680 E. 9th St., Reno. Carnival games, Bounce house, Picture booth, Face painting, Food & Drinks, Fortune teller, Raffle, Craft table, Live music and free eye screening.
Sunday, October 26, 2014, 12:00 to 4:00 pm, Pumpkin Palusa. Victoria Square. Many children activities with many children.
Saturday, October 31, 2014, 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino Halloween Party. Lots of children and fun for all.