The Missouri State Highway Patrol has asked drivers to join the fight to bring missing children home. Sergent Erik Eidson talked with KMZU’s Chelsea Pounds:

Erik Eidson

The National Day of awareness was put in place in 1987 by President Ronald Regan. It is celebrated annually on May 25.

Press Release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol

May 13, 2013

Every year on May 25, Missourians are asked to remember the children who
stare back from the posters of the missing. These are the faces of children
who have been stolen from their families, run away from their families, or
have been abandoned by their families. Regardless of the reason, these
missing youth are in danger every day. It is the goal of National Missing
Children?s Day to bring public attention to the growing problem of missing
children.

President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed National Missing Children?s Day on
May 25, 1983. It now serves as an annual reminder to Missouri and the
nation that everyone can play a part in bringing a missing child home, and
in preventing the occurrence of future missing children. All Missouri
citizens are encouraged to drive with their headlights on throughout the
day on May 25, to ?light the way home? for our missing youth. The wearing
of a white ribbon also symbolizes the continued fight to return children
safely home.

In 2012, 5,561 children were reported missing to Missouri law enforcement
agencies. These missing reports included runaways, family abductions, and
non-family abductions. At the end of 2012, 91 of these children were still
missing. Thus far in 2013, there have been 1,966 children reported missing,
1,787 of which have been located.

The Missouri Missing Persons Clearinghouse reminds all parents and
guardians to talk to children about child safety issues as a pro-active
approach to curbing child abduction. In the same manner as reminding
children to look both ways before crossing the street, children should be
reminded often to follow these safety rules:

· CHECK FIRST: Check first with a trusted adult before going anywhere
or accepting anything from anyone.
· TAKE A BUDDY: Never go alone; always take a friend. If a child MUST
go somewhere alone, remind them to call before leaving, stay on a
protected path, and check in upon arrival.
· SAY NO: Know that it is OK to say, ?NO!? Teach children to tell a
trusted adult if something makes them scared or uncomfortable.
· BE SAFE: Remind children they always have the right to stay safe.

Parents and guardians should have an emergency child identification kit. To
create a child identification kit at home, simply place a quality
photograph, such as a school picture, in a file with up-to-date information
outlining the child?s height, weight, date of birth, hair color, eye color,
guardian information, address, and distinguishing features such as scars,
moles, glasses, braces, etc. Since children grow quickly and change a lot,
the information should be updated at least once a year. The Patrol?s
Missing Persons Clearinghouse has a Child ID System, which can be taken to
schools, health and safety fairs, and civic meetings upon request to make
free, wallet-sized child ID cards for parents.

Two critical tools in the fight against missing children are the Amber
Alert Program and the Missouri Endangered Persons Advisory. The mission of
the Amber Alert Program is to develop and coordinate the efforts of law
enforcement, the media, and transportation in order to increase public
participation in safely recovering abducted children through targeted
education, increased communication, and effective sharing of resources. In
2012, two statewide Amber Alerts were issued for six missing children, and
all six of those children were recovered safely. The Missouri Endangered
Persons Advisory was established in 2007, to protect missing persons who
might not fall under the strict criteria established by the Amber Alert
Plan.

For more information on child safety and Amber Alerts, or if you would like
a child ID presentation at your local event, please contact the Missing
Persons Clearinghouse at (573) 526-6178, or online at www.mshp.dps.mo.gov.