So last weekend, I finally got my act together and filled them out for the first time. I didn't tell my children what the kits were for; I just told them I was going to take their fingerprints - a statement that was met with happy squeals. I jokingly called the photos I took specifically for the kits "mug shots." And the kids loved comparing their weight and height, too. A fun time was had by all, and in just a few minutes, I had a complete kit for each child.
Where to Get Child ID Kits
If you don't have a current child safety kit for each of your kids, it really is worth the little bit of time it takes to complete them. If your insurance company doesn't give them away for free, you may feel uncomfortable about ordering kits online. (You might think: "How do I know this is legit and not some weirdo collecting info on children with families?) So the FBI recommends getting kits from the National Child Identification Program - although there is a fee for kits from this source. (I do love, however, that churches can order bunches of these kits to give every child in their congregation or community.) The Polly Klaas Foundation (named after a famously abducted child) offers kits absolutely free, and is a known and legit organization.
But wherever you get your child safety kit, it should include:
- A place to put fingerprints (along with instructions and ink)
- A place for a current photo
- A place to record, periodically, your child's weight and height
- A place to record birth marks and other identifying features
- A place for recording basic contact information (such as address and phone number).
Some Other Important Safety Measures
In addition to having a child safety kit, it's an excellent idea to always have a recent, clear, headshot-style photo of each child in your purse/wallet or on your cell phone. This way, if your child does get lost, security or police have instant access to an identifying photo.
Your child should also play a part in his or her own safety. For a complete list of things you should teach every child from the time they are toddlers - with a refresher every few months, click here.