Child Safety

Advances in Fingerprint Technology Can Improve Children’s Health

MYIDClub pic

MYIDClub
Image: myidclub.org

A precaution taken before the unlikely event of a child’s disappearance, MY ID Club offers parents identification cards for children up to age 16 to help locate and identify missing youth. MY ID Club operates throughout the country, partnering with police departments and other institutions and providing ID kits for fingerprinting and picture-taking to parents and their children.

A recent study shows that a child’s fingerprint does not age. According to an article from Forbes.com, the latest research from the field of biometrics reveals that the fingerprints of children, even infants, have distinguishing marks that can be identified years later. Previously, it was believed that fingerprints taken at such a young age were unreliable. With advances in technology, fingerprints from children as young as six months old are recognizable with an accuracy of up to 98.9 percent. There are multiple real-world applications of this new finding, including tracking and recording a child’s vaccination history in developing countries and identifying a child in the case of a possible kidnapping.

How to Host a My ID Club Event

MYIDClub pic

MYIDClub
Image: myidclub.org

For over 20 years, My ID Club has worked to ensure children’s safety by providing free identification cards to children and their guardians. My ID Club began as an initiative of the King County Police Union and has since attended over 2,500 community events throughout the state.

Facilitated by the King County Police Union, the service is free to both parents and host organizations. The program has distributed identification cards at a wide variety of community events, including school gatherings, health fairs, sporting events, and local family fun nights.

Organizations that would like to provide this resource to their communities must submit a formal request with a contact name and phone number; the name, date, and time of the event; an estimate of the number of child attendees; and secondary date options. To be approved for an event, organizations must have a minimum of 25 children attending and a venue with access to an electrical outlet. They must also provide a table and folding chairs, and if the venue is outside, the area must be covered.

Six Tips to Help Children Stay Safe in Public Places

MYIDClub pic

MYIDClub
Image: /myidclub.org

Based in Burien, Washington, MY ID CLUB supplies children with identification cards containing medical and personal information that first responders may use in case of an injury or missing child. MY ID CLUB operates through support from the community and the King County Police Union, and participates in various child safety events and initiatives. The following list includes safety tips for caretakers and children.

1. Establish open communication. Encourage children to trust their intuition and inform a trusted adult when a stranger makes them feel uncomfortable. Emphasize the importance of honesty and the risks of secret-keeping.

2. Memorize personal information. Make sure your child knows his or her address, phone number, full name, and other important personal information by heart. In addition, teach children to use the phone during an emergency situation and how to dial 911.

3. Review “stranger danger” risks. Discuss the risks of approaching or speaking with strangers with your children. The discussion should cover subjects such as how to call for help, what to do if approached by a stranger, how to refuse gifts or requests for assistance, and the importance of the buddy system.

4. Create a separation plan. Develop a plan with your child on what to do if they became separated from you in a public place. Avoid using parking lots or the car as meeting places, and stick to areas indoors and places with noticeable security.

5. Form neighborhood safety systems. Connect with other parents in your neighborhood and set up a safety system. Familiarize children with the families within the system and where their homes are located.

6. Take advantage of free child safety programs. Child safety programs that provide identification cards, teach safety instructions, or offer after-school supervision supply children and families with vital resources for staying safe.