Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vehicle Safety: Part 2

You place your children's safety at the top of your priority list. You shopped for the safest car when you started a family. You read up on car seats for kids and figured out which one worked best for you and your family. You even took your car and car seat to a seat-checking station to let an expert check and approve of your handiwork.

But did you know there are other dangers in and around your vehicle that could seriously harm or even kill your child?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vehicle Safety: Part 1

You place your children's safety at the top of your priority list. You shopped for the safest car when you started a family. You read up on car seats for kids and figured out which one worked best for you and your family. You even took your car and car seat to a seat-checking station to let an expert check and approve of your handiwork.

But did you know there are other dangers in and around your vehicle that could seriously harm or even kill your child?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Travel Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,, has issued some safety tips to follow when traveling with your child. Below is a tip that involves traveling with your school-age child that we here at Ident-A-Kid think is very important. For more information on safety when traveling with your child, visit

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Violence In and Out of School

Children are aware of what is happening in the world around them. Parents and educators cannot assume that children are unaffected by global events. When frightening and violent incidents occur, such as the attacks of September 11, both children and adults may experience a range of emotions including fear, confusion, sadness and anger.

To counteract fear and give reassurance, parents, teachers and day care providers can provide opportunities for children to express how they feel and channel their feelings into positive actions.

Discussions between adults and children in difficult situations can be an opening for reinforcing family and community values, beliefs and traditions. To learn more, take a look at the following advice that was developed by National PTA and the Anti-Defamation League.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School Safety!

As you and your children transition into the back-to-school routine, important safety tips and precautions should be given top priority. In addition to making sure that you have an up-to-date Ident-A-Kid card for your child’s Identification, The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have compiled ten Tips for Parents or Guardians for back to school safety.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Find the RIGHT Babysitter and How to Be a Super Sitter

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are concerned about your child’s safety. There are certain things that you as parents should expect from the sitter and the sitter should expect from you. That's why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has prepared this Super Sitter Guide.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adolescent Drug Use Prevention

Research shows that the main reason that kids don’t use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs is because of their parents – because of their positive influence and because they know it would disappoint them. That is why it is so important that parents build a strong relationship with their kids and talk to them about substance abuse – the earlier the better! Below are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council about how to prevent adolescent drug abuse.

The good news is it’s easy to do! Here are a few ways you can build a positive relationship with your kids and start talking to them about drugs.

Note: “Drugs” refers to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Amusement Park Safety!

Everyone knows that kids love amusement parks. While it might seem like an adventure for children, it can be a safety nightmare for parents.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Swimming and Water Safety!

With summer and hot weather rapidly approaching, it is time to break out those swim suits and cool off in the water! However, water, in many forms, can be dangerous. Below are some helpful swimming and water safety tips from the Mayo Clinic.

Water may be fun to play with — but it can also be deadly. Consider child safety tips for home pools, natural bodies of water and common household hazards.

Most children are drawn to water. It's sparkly. Things float in it. And it's fun to splash. But child safety takes on new meaning near water. Anyone can have a water-related accident — even children who know how to swim. To keep your children safe in and near the water, follow simply child safety guidelines.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Camping and Hiking Safety!

With spring here and summer fast approaching, more and more families will be engaging in outdoor activities like camping and hiking. While camping and hiking can be fun and rewarding activities for families, there are some things that it is important to remember to keep you and your family safe, healthy, and ready for fun! Below is some information from Safer Child, Inc about hiking and camping safety.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Car Heatstroke Prevention

Children die each year from heatstroke, after being alone in a vehicle. You live by your daily routine and it helps you get things done. Be extra careful, though, if you have to change any part of that routine. This is more likely to happen when you, or caregiver who helps with your children, forgets that a child is in the back seat. This can and does happen when you break a well-established routine. Below is some information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about leaving your child unattended and tips on how to prevent this.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vacation Safety!

With vacation season fast approaching, it is a good idea to be fully prepared for family vacations. Family vacations can and should be great fun. Quality family time and the adventures and excitement shared by your family will create memories that will last a lifetime. One way to be sure those memories are pleasant memories, is to plan ahead for safety. Below are some tips from to keep you and your family safe on your vacation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4th Of July Safety!

4th of July Safety Tips from the American Red Cross
This 4th of July, friends and loved ones all across the country will gather to celebrate our nation’s independence and what is for many, the unofficial start of summer. If your traditions include fireworks, barbecues, or relaxing days at the pool or beach, the American Red Cross has provided some safety tips below in order to keep you and your family safe during the holiday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are concerned about your child’s safety.  There are certain things that you as parents should expect from the sitter and the sitter should expect from you.  That's why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has prepared this Super Sitter Guide. It is to help you become more aware of some of these guidelines, particularly:
  • the need for constant observation and alertness to the child's environment
  • selecting toys for children that are not dangerous
  • the importance of children playing with toys in the proper manner
  • the need for keeping children's products in good condition so they don't become dangerous for them to use
There are certain do's and don'ts. In addition to "sitting" with the children, these are a few of the things you should know and remember as a Safe Sitter.
  • Before the parents leave, get the names and phone numbers suggested in the Super Sitter's Very Important Phone Numbers List.
  • Have the parents show you through the house or apartment and point out where the items you will need are located, such as the children's clothing or playthings.
  • Always know where the emergency exits are located. In case of fire don't stop to try to put it out by yourself! Get the children out of the house without stopping to phone. Take them to a neighbor. Call the fire department, and then call the parents to let them know where you and the children are.
  • Keep the youngsters safe by preventing accidents. Know where the potential hazards are, such as electrical outlets, appliances, and exposed heating elements. Also ask the parents if all medicine, bleaches and household cleaners are securely locked up.
  • Stairs can be dangerous for youngsters. Keep a curious toddler from playing on or around them. Running or horseplay on them can lead to falls, particularly if the youngsters are wearing socks or other "slippery" footwear. Remember, too, that stairs are not meant to be a storage area. Anything placed on the stairs can become an obstacle to fall over.
  • If there is a gate across the stairway, make sure it is kept latched. Babies in carriages, walkers or strollers should never be left unattended, especially in an area around stairs or ramps -- whether indoors or out. A malfunction of the carriage's safety brake or a sudden movement by the child could put it right over the edge. If a gate is not provided, place a barrier of some kind in front of the stairway that a child cannot climb over. Accordion-style gates with large V-shaped or diamond-shaped openings should not be used since they can entrap a child's head, causing strangulation. A gate with a straight top or small V's and diamond-shaped openings is safer. Make sure pressure gates are firmly in place and can't be dislodged by the child.
  • Caution the child about the dangers of glass doors or windows. A child running or riding on a trike or bike could easily go through the glass. Be sure you keep toys, scatter rugs and other articles that could cause someone to slip or trip away from these areas. If you are caring for a particularly active child, place a large chair or other piece of furniture in front of the glass area for safety's sake. You also can suggest to the parents that large, colorful decals at eye level for both children and adults can make glass doors safer.
  • Unless specifically instructed by the parents, do not bathe the baby. A clean facecloth in lukewarm water will suffice in most cases for cleaning the skin. Bathing a baby calls for utmost care and supervision; aside from the risk of hot water scalds, there is always the danger of drowning. While you may want to be of help to the parents, bathing the infant is not recommended.
  • If you are changing the baby's diapers, plan on having everything within immediate reach so you won't have to step away from the infant even for a second. If you are not constantly watching them, babies can roll over and fall from changing tables or other high places. Have diapers, pins, etc., next to you so the baby is under constant supervision.
  • Infants may choke on small items which they put in their mouths. Small pieces of food, coins, pins and other non-toy items could lodge in the baby's throat and cause choking or asphyxiation. It could also occur with small toys or parts of toys intended for older children. Watch the baby carefully to make sure these objects are not within reach. In the event of accidental choking, apply first aid measures to clear the child's airway. Also call the rescue squad. (If you don't know first aid, contact your local American Red Cross office or an approved community agency for instruction.)
  • A "super sitter" will look for hazards before they surface. Loose, baggy clothing can be dangerous if it gets caught on furniture, cribs, playpens, etc., as children climb, play or scamper about the room. Clothing can also be a problem if it becomes tightly wound around the baby. Be on the alert for hazards such as these, and adjust the clothing so that it cannot become tangled.
  • To prevent accidental injuries, keep doors and windows locked at all times. Remember that children, though under your supervision, can at times just "seem to disappear" from your watchful eye.
  • Never open the door to strangers. If there is a question about someone at the door, call the parents to check with them.
  • In case of accident or illness, don't try to be doctor or nurse except for minor cuts and bruises. Call the parents for instructions. If they cannot be reached, call your own parents or go to a neighbor for help. The sick or hurt child may require a doctor or emergency care.
With several children -- particularly toddlers (2 and 3 year olds) -- you won't be doing much sitting." You'll be playing with them and supervising their play activities. Where They Play ... Just a reminder that whether you're actually playing with the children or supervising them, keep them within safe play areas, preferably within your sight. Keep them away from potential danger areas in the home such as the kitchen, bathroom, workshop and storage areas. They move fast, so you will have to be able to move even faster!
The Playpen
You should be aware of hazards to a child left alone in a playpen. A string of toys across the top or even to one side of the playpen could be a strangulation risk. Dropside mesh playpens and portable mesh cribs, used with a side left down, can pose a serious hazard to newborns and infants. When the side is down, the mesh forms a loose pocket into which an infant can fall or roll and suffocate. Dropsides should ALWAYS be up and locked securely in position when a child is in the playpen or crib. Don't put any toys in the playpen that a child can climb on to get out. And little fingers can get caught in hinges.
Baby Walkers ... the baby hot rod!
Baby walkers seem fun to scoot around in, but they also can scoot down a flight of stairs, into a hot stove, against a table edge or into a glass door. They offer limited balance to a child not yet completely able to stand or walk. If unstable, walkers can easily tip over. Stay with the child when he or she is in the walker, and assist it over thresholds or carpeting.
High Chairs
A child in a high chair requires almost constant attention. Babies can slip out of a high chair in an instant if not properly strapped in. An unstable high chair can tip over ... with the baby in it! Make sure that any safety belts or straps on the high chair are securely fastened and that the tray is properly secured. Don't let the child stand up while in the chair, and keep other children from climbing on it. Keep the chair away from "traffic lanes," doorways, refrigerator and stove, and far enough away from tables and walls so that the child can't push the chair over.
The Crib
If baby is to sleep safely, make sure that the crib is as safe as you can make it. If there is too much room (more than two fingers width) between the mattress and the side of the crib, an infant's head could get caught in between and the infant could suffocate. Roll up a couple of large bath towels and place them in the space. If the slats are more than 2-3/8 inches apart, the baby's body can slide between the slats and the baby can suffocate.

If the child is old enough to stand up, the parents should set the mattress at its lowest position, with the side rail at its highest position. Check the mattress support frequently to make sure it hasn't become unhooked from the end panels. Any toys you leave in the crib should never be ones that could be used to help in climbing out. Also, do not use crib toys that may have strings or elastic attached to them -- these can strangle or choke! Cribs with decorative knobs on the cornerposts can be a strangulation hazard. Children's clothing and strings or necklaces can catch on the protrusions, especially if the child is trying to climb out. Crib gyms should be removed from the crib when the baby is five months old or can push up on hands and knees, otherwise the baby can get his/her chin across the crib gym or catch clothing on it and strangle.
Teach children to play safely by showing them how to use their toys in a safe manner and by teaching them to put their toys away after play.

Be particularly aware of safe and unsafe toys. These are some toy dangers you should be aware of:


Tiny toys and toys with small removable parts can be swallowed or become lodged in a child's throat, windpipe, ears or nose. The seams of poorly constructed stuffed dolls or animals can break open and release small pellets that can be swallowed or inhaled.


Toys of brittle plastic or glass can be broken easily, leaving dangerous, sharp, cutting edges. Metal and plastic toys sometimes have sharp edges due to poor construction.


Broken toys can expose dangerous prongs and knifelike sharp points. Pins and staples on dolls' clothes, hair and accessories can easily puncture an unsuspecting child.


Toy caps and some noise-making guns and other toys can produce sounds at noise levels that can damage hearing. Do not allow children to fire cap guns closer than one foot to the ear; also, do not use indoors.


Projectiles -- guided missiles and similar flying toys -- can be turned into weapons and can injure eyes in particular. Children should never be permitted to play with adult lawn darts or other hobby or sporting equipment that have sharp points. Arrows or darts used by children should have soft cork tips, rubber suction cups or other protective tips intended to prevent injury. Teach children that these toys should never be aimed at people or pets.


Electric toys that are improperly constructed, wired or used can shock or burn. Electric toys with heating elements are only recommended for children over eight years old. Children should be taught to use electric toys cautiously and under adult supervision.


Toys that may be safe for older children -- like a chemistry or hobby set or games with small pieces -- can be extremely dangerous in the hands of little ones.


Toys with long strings or cords may be dangerous for infants and very young children. The cords may become wrapped around an infant's neck, causing strangulation. Never hang toys with long strings, cords, loops or ribbons in cribs or playpens. Pacifiers should never be attached to strings or ribbons around a baby's neck.
To overcome any outbursts from the children when the parents are leaving, you may want to have your own Super Sitter's Surprise Box. This can be anything in the way of toys or treasures for them to play with, to stimulate curiosity and to take away fear of being left "forever."

The box can be of your own design. It can be as complicated and complex as an overnight case filled with colorful, new, exciting and safe toys you buy (or borrow from a younger sister or brother). It can be as simple as a shoe box filled with toys you have made. It will help ease those first difficult moments and many more besides.

Here's how you can make your Super Sitter's Surprise Box:

A variety of colors of "sticky-back" tape and a medium sized box with a lid or an old overnight case are all you need. Cut the tape into strips, squares, triangles and circles and tape them on to the box or case. Besides being attractive and eye-catching, the shapes can be educational. Fill the Surprise Box with any of the "surprises" below:
  • rubber animals
  • plastic or wooden animals with smooth edges
  • soft plastic or cloth covered books
  • plastic or wooden toy cars or trucks with no small detachable parts
  • large rubber ball
  • playing cards
  • set of measuring cups
  • different colored bandage strips to use as "puppets" on your fingers, or on the baby's fingers.
Try to put a surprise or two -- a book, coloring book, game, puzzle or some item of amusement into your box for an older brother or sister.

When making your Surprise Box, remember to use only safe toys! Check to see that they don't have any of the toy dangers. Make your Super Sitter's Surprise Box a safe surprise!
Some of your daytime sitting may include playing outdoors with the children. Outdoor play equipment -- swings, seesaws and slides -- can be fun, but can be dangerous too. Play safety can be taught to even the youngest toddlers.

Children often do the unexpected on playground equipment. They are naturally and normally curious and adventuresome. Standing in a swing is "bigger and better" than sitting in one. Climbing to the top, sitting or swinging on it shows great daring. Little ones are unaware of risk ... often jumping off or in front of swings, seesaws or gliders. They may walk in front or in back of a moving swing. In an atmosphere of "the more the merrier," they may overload any one piece of equipment and tip the entire structure. Hanging "rings" are particularly dangerous to small children whose heads may be small enough to go through the ring, turning it into a hanging "noose."

All children should be supervised when playing on this kind of equipment. They should be told to sit in the center of a swing. Explain the following hazards: walking in front or in back of a swing; pushing other children off of the swing; swinging empty seats; twisting the swing chains; and, climbing up the front of the slide. Roughhousing, overloading equipment and misuse can be curbed from the start if you're there supervising their play.

Older children can be taught certain safety rules and why they are important. Asking them to assist you in supervising the younger ones will help them to understand these rules better. Dangerous roughhousing, stunts, overloading, abuse and misuse of equipment and showing off are unacceptable.
Daytime sitting can also include time in or around a swimming pool, wading pool or spa. Children are naturally attracted to water, therefore, a "super sitter" must take precautions at all times to prevent accidents from happening. Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death nationwide to children under five years of age. In addition, some 3,000 youngsters in the same age group are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms as a result of near-drownings; some of these children are hospitalized for life as a result of near-drowning.

Drowning is a silent killer. When a child drowns, a baby sitter won't hear a cry or even a splash. Drownings can happen very quickly.

How do children drown? How can you prevent a tragedy from happening?
  • Seconds count. In seconds, a child can leave the house and walk to the edge of the pool. In seconds, a child can drown in only a few inches of water. A child can drown in the few seconds taken to answer a telephone in the house.
  • Eyes on the child at all times is your best bet. There is no substitute for constant supervision of the child.
  • Children should be supervised and accompanied at all times, even though the parents previously instructed the children not to go near the water.
  • Make sure gates leading to the pool are closed and locked. Lock all doors leading from the house to the pool area. Locks should always be out of reach of children.
  • Don't consider a child to be water-safe even if the youngster has had swimming lessons or water-familiarity class.
  • Don't assume a pool to be safe, even one with a pool cover or a fence.
  • Don't allow children to play on the apron surrounding the pool.
  • If the pool is above-ground, remove the ladder to prevent access by anyone.
  • Learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on infants and young children. Contact your local chapter of the American Heart Association or American Red Cross about registering for classes.
  • If for any reason you discover the child to be missing, check the pool, wading pool, spa or hot tub first.
  • Know the telephone numbers to call for emergency medical service. In some locations you dial 911, in others a seven-digit number. As a "super sitter" you can teach the children that safe play can still be fun play!

Not everything that goes into a child's mouth falls into the category of food. Too often, what ends up in mouths and stomachs may be deadly! Growing children are curious about things that glitter and shine, pretty colored pills, bottles and containers of all kinds, and what's in them. Children under the age of five are in stages of growth where they are constantly exploring and investigating. This is how they learn. Unfortunately, what children see and reach for, they put into their mouths and swallow.

Every year thousands of youngsters across the country receive emergency hospital or doctor's care because of accidental poisoning. These are chiefly children under five who have ingested some common household item which suddenly becomes poison in the wrong hands (and mouths). These include medicines, cleaning products and preparations, insect sprays, lighter fluid and kerosene, turpentine and paints.

You can help prevent accidental poisonings, while baby sitting and in your own home too. Here are some things you should remember:
All household products and medicines should be stored out of sight and reach of young children -- preferably locked up! (If you are sitting where household cleaning agents are stored under the sink and you are in charge of a "crawler" -- or the medicine cabinet is accessible to a "climber" -- you can put protective tape across the front of the cabinet as an extra precaution.)
As a baby sitter you should not be expected to give any medication. But in certain circumstances, you may be asked to give a medication during the time the parents are away. If it is absolutely necessary that you do this, have the parents leave explicit, written instructions for you.

1. Read the label on the container carefully as well as the instructions from the parents.

2. Never leave the child alone with the medication. If the phone rings take the medication with you.

3. Return the medication to its safe storage place with the safety closure on securely.

4. Do not call the medication candy.

5. Do not give the medication in the dark.

6. Do not take any medication yourself in the presence of the child.

7. Be careful of what you might be bringing into the house.

Children are normally curious and can get into a pocketbook, briefcase or overnight case of a guest which could contain medications. An otherwise "poison-proof" household can become the scene of an accidental poisoning incident.


1. DON'T WAIT to see what effect it may have. If you think the child has swallowed medicine or a household product, call a Poison Control Center, doctor, or hospital IMMEDIATELY! (These should be emergency numbers on your list.) Describe what was taken and how much, giving as much information as you can. Describe the condition of the child -- vomiting, drowsiness, change of color, coldness of skin. In the event no medical instructions are available, check the label on the container for emergency procedures and directions, if any. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING UNLESS INSTRUCTED BY MEDICAL PERSONNEL OR THE LABEL GIVES SUCH INSTRUCTIONS. IF INSTRUCTED TO INDUCE VOMITTING, GIVE SYRUP OF IPECAC. (NOTE: PARENTS SHOULD KEEP ON HAND A ONE-OUNCE BOTTLE OF SYRUP OF IPECAC FOR EACH CHILD IN THE HOME).

2. Call in a neighbor who can help you take care of this emergency; get the child medical aid, or help take care of other children in the family. At this point, don't try to take on all of the care and responsibility yourself.

3. Call the parents. Explain what has happened, what has already been done and what is yet to be done. If the child is to be taken to a hospital or doctor's office, it may be more expedient to get the child there and have the parents go there immediately rather than come home first. Speed, of course, is important. But equally important is the way you handle the situation. Try to keep control. A frightened and sick child will become more frightened if you are excited or show panic. Accidental poisoning is a frightening experience, but if you know preventive measures, you will be able to handle the situation when it happens. (Tell the parents about child resistant safety packaging which can help prevent these kinds of accidents.)
Time to Leave
Before you realize it, the parents have arrived to find you and their children safe and sound, and to see you home safely. During your first sitting experience, you may have been nervous, but with each new one, you will gain confidence, especially if you remember the Super Sitter Tips we have discussed. Here is a summary of those tips which you should keep foremost in your mind until you are confident that you know them:
  • Know what to do in emergencies by being prepared for one, knowing what could happen and how to react to it. Take first aid instructions.
  • Always know where the emergency exits are located.
  • Keep doors and windows locked for the safety of both yourself and the children.
  • Know where the "danger" items are -- medicines, bleaches, household cleaners and electrical appliances. Keep them out of children's reach if the parents have not locked them away in a secure place.
  • In case of accident or illness, don't try to be a doctor or nurse except for minor cuts and bruises.
  • Keep your emergency telephone list handy -- use these numbers when you need them.
  • Depend on the parents or a neighbor in any emergency situation that you are not sure how to handle yourself.
  • Prevent play accidents by keeping the youngsters safe -- supervise where they play, what they play with and teach them safe play. Keep these safety tips in mind ... they will make your baby sitting experience both safe and fun for you and the children. They will make you a SUPER SAFE SITTER.
Super Sitter's Very Important Phone Numbers
Post these names and phone numbers by the telephone. Then you'll have them when and if you need them.
Where parents will be:___________________________________________
Nearby friend____________________________________________________
or relative______________________________________________________
or neighbor______________________________________________________
Children's doctor________________________________________________
Fire Department__________________________________________________
Police Department________________________________________________
Poison Control Center____________________________________________

reproduced from CPSC Document #243
For more information about Child Identification and Child safety, visit

Monday, June 20, 2011

National ASK Day

Tuesday, June 21 is National ASK Day, which is a part of the Asking Saves Kids campaign of the PAX/Real Solutions to Gun Violence organization.

ASK (Asking Saves Kids) is a program established by the Solutions to Gun Violence group. The association reports that over 40% of homes have guns in them. Of that percentage, many are left unlocked or loaded. Children are curious by nature and every year many die senseless deaths due to a firearm found in the home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fireworks Safety!

As June is National Fireworks Safety Month, below are some safety tips from the Fireworks Alliance to follow in order to keep you and your family safe during fireworks season.

The Fireworks Alliance is committed to educating people on the safe use of consumer fireworks. The following guidelines are recommended to help you enjoy your fireworks while minimizing the risk of an accident to yourself and others.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What to Do When Your Child is Flying Unaccompanied!

When your child is flying unaccompanied…
In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with your child’s safety. When flying unaccompanied, there are many things that you and your child need to know. Below are some rules and tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for when your child is flying unaccompanied. Just remember, it is always good policy for your child to have an Ident-A-Kid card with them when they are flying unaccompanied.

1. When you make reservations for your child, specify that the child will be flying alone. Whenever possible, book a non-stop or direct flight. Avoid booking the last flight of the day because cancellation of such a flight may result in overnight delays. Ask for a written copy of the airline’s policies and procedures for children traveling alone, and review them with your child.

2. When booking your child’s flight, inquire about children’s meals to help ensure that your child will enjoy the food. Also, be sure to pack a healthy, “non-messy” snack for the trip. Try to reserve a bulkhead seat, so that your child may relax and airline personnel can more easily check on him or her.

3. As with any new experience, “practice makes perfect.” Thus, plan to visit the airport prior to your child’s flight. Take a tour of the gate area; introduce your child to some of the people working for the airline, and explain the basics of the flying experience. Let your child know what to expect, so the experience will not be so daunting. Instruct your child to follow all of the cabin
procedures and rules as explained by the flight attendant for his or her comfort and safety.

4. On the day of the flight, at a minimum, follow the airline’s suggested time of arrival prior to the flight’s departure. And, with the advent of additional security procedures and nature of travel with a child, you may want to arrive even earlier. Be sure to allow enough time to fill out the mandatory paperwork, pre-board your child on the plane, and ensure that your child is settled prior to general boarding. Remain at the gate until the plane takes off. Should the flight be delayed, your child will be much more comfortable in the waiting area with you than sitting
onboard the plane. And if the flight is canceled or redirected, you will want to be there to make
alternative arrangements.

5. Airlines will not allow your child to fly if the weather is questionable because the flight may be diverted or a connecting flight canceled. Also, remember how uncomfortable and unnerved you can feel when flying in rough weather or when there is turbulence. Thus, try to avoid these flying conditions for your child.

6. Parents must provide home and work telephone numbers, addresses, and identification. Make certain you have a back-up plan for the person(s) meeting the plane at the destination, in case they are delayed. Alert them that the airline will require photo identification prior to releasing the child. Make certain that your child knows the person he or she is flying to meet, so that an unfamiliar person does not meet him or her.

7. Some airlines provide special and supervised waiting rooms for unaccompanied children with time between connecting flights. Check to see if the airline you choose has such an area.

8. Dress your child comfortably in layered clothing, so he or she may adjust to various cabin
t e m p e r a t u r e s. A change of clothing is a good idea as well. Give your child some spending money, including coins, in case of emergency.

9. Your child should have a carry-on piece of luggage or backpack to hold essentials such as identification (like an Ident-A-Kid card), medications, reading materials, and games. Children may use hand-held video games when instructed by airline personnel it is safe to do so, and if the game is not noisy or intrusive to other passengers. Remote control toys are not permitted, as they may interfere with the plane’s electronic equipment. Your child’s Ident-A-Kid card and medications should be put in an envelope for safekeeping inside the carry-on luggage or backpack.

To view the source of this article or for more information about Child Safety, please visit

For information about Child Safety and Child Rescue, please visit the Child Rescue Network at

For information about Ident-A-Kid and Child Identification, please visit our website at

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stop Cyberbullying! What To Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied Online

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with your child’s physical and mental safety. Not only does Cyberbullying have potentially dangerous psychological implications for your child, but your child’s physical safety may become an issue as well. Bullies are notorious for tormenting their victims face to face—at school, on the playground, in sports. But now, cyberbullying (or online bullying) opens the door to 24-hour harassment through computers, cell phones, gaming consoles, or other Internet-enabled means. Below is some information from and about Cyberbullying and how to stop it.

Talk with your kids about cyberbullying.
Ask your kids what they're doing online and encourage them to report bullying to you. Promise that you will take action on their behalf and explain what you will do. Reassure them that you won't curtail their phone or computer privileges.

Keep the family computer in a central location.
If your kids play video games, keep Internet-connected game consoles in a central location also. Teenagers have so many ways to access the Internet that putting the computer in a central spot isn't always effective. With older kids, it's especially important to have frank discussions.

Look for signs of online bullying-
for example, getting upset when online or a reluctance to go to school.

Don't tolerate cyberbullying at home.
Let your children know they should never, under any circumstances, bully someone. Make the consequences clear.

Keep passwords secret.
Urge your kids not to share passwords or other information that could be used to bully them, or to loan their cell phones or laptops.

Encourage your children to make friends
and to help friends look out for each other. Cyberbullies are less likely to target those whom they perceive have strong friendships. If a victim has friends who rally around him or her, the bullying usually stops.

Get help from technology.
Turn on the safety features available in most programs and services.
If your child is a victim of online bullying, there are a number of escalating steps you can take, says Nancy E. Willard, author of the book Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the challenge of online social cruelty, threats, and distress.

Identify and block
First, ask your child not to respond or retaliate, no matter how tempting it may be to "fight back." If you can identify who's cyberbullying your child, block any further communications. In your instant message program go to People or Friends in the main menu and choose Block User or Remove Friend, for instance. In your email program, add the offending email address to your blacklist. For assistance in online sleuthing, contact, whose trained volunteers can also help you try to track down who's behind the online harassment.

Set boundaries
You, not your kids, should also contact the bully (or bullies) and demand the offending behavior stop. If you don't know their real identity, send an email or IM. Warn them that you will contact their parents or school, too, if the behavior continues.

File a complaint
Most cyberbullying behavior-harassment, threats, invasion of privacy, stalking-are violations of a web site or Internet service provider's "terms of service." You can file a complaint with the service and that could lead to the suspension or termination of the cyberbully's (or his or her parents') Internet access.

Contact the school
If you know the bully attends the same school as your child, teachers and administrators might be able to help. Keep in mind, however, that due to free speech rights, schools often have little leverage over what goes on outside the classroom. Some schools are incorporating anti-cyberbullying terms into students' online access agreements, so if the bully contacted your child from a school computer, he or she could be in big trouble. Make sure to report the incident either way.

Send a certified letter
If you've done all you can and the bullying hasn't stopped, send the child's parents a certified "cease and desist" letter. Along with the letter, include computer print-outs of the bullying behavior, such as emails or IM transcripts. Ask the parents to step in and put a stop to the cyberbullying. Willard, who is also a lawyer and director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, says certifying the letter proves the parents are aware of their child's behavior and can be held responsible if it still doesn't stop.

Call an attorney
In the worst case scenario, a lawyer can help you consider filing a civil suit against bullies and/or their parents for defamation, harassment or other causes. Sometimes the threat of a suit is enough to dissuade cyberbullies.

Contact the local police
If there's any evidence that the cyberbully's tactics include criminal actions, such as hate crimes, physical threats or talk of brandishing weapons at school, contact your local police immediately. Cyberbullies who post surreptitious locker-room photos of their victims online can also be brought up on charges of child pornography. Make sure to print examples of the offending behavior and pass it on to the police. The police can use your complaint to gather any other admissible evidence from your child's computer, if need be.

Talk with your kids about what's acceptable
Anne Collier, editor of, an email newsletter about online safety for kids, says to truly stop cyberbullying, however, you have to first know what's happening when your kids are online. Kids are often reluctant to tell parents about cyberbullying or anything else that goes on online for fear parents will only make things worse. Others feel that what they do on the Internet is "private." Williard says that nothing could be further from the truth: "Kids need to know that the Internet is a public space and need to treat it as such."

Willard suggests that you get to know your child's screen names and email addresses and don't hesitate to "Google" (or search) for your kid's online identities. She also says parents should be up front-so tell your kids you'll be checking up on them periodically. And communicate with your kid's friends' parents, she says. Setting expectations not just for your child but everyone else can avoid future problems.

"It takes a digital village to raise a child, these days," she says.
Collier adds that you can draft an "acceptable use policy" or contract for the home computer or other text-messaging devices as well. The policy should address every aspect of venturing into cyberspace, including how long your children will stay online each day. Or what web sites, messaging services and chat rooms are acceptable destinations. Also discuss what personal information they can share online, including photos. "Ask your child, 'What will you do if…?' and then write mutually acceptable answers into the contract," Collier advises. A signed promise to be kind to others online and to report cyberbullying (of themselves or others) could go a long way towards preventing problems before they start

For more information about Cyberbullying and what to do, visit:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day Safety!

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with you and your family’s health and safety. Memorial Day is a great time to relax and spend time with family and friends. However, just like with any holiday, safety should always be your number one concern. So whether you're having a barbecue or hitting the beach, below are some safety tips from the Health & Wellness section of, that you don't want to leave home without.

1.) Before leaving the house, make sure everyone in your party, applies sun block. It is important to protect your skin from the harmful rays and prevent sunburns. After swimming or sweating, the sun block tends to wear off, so be sure to reapply often.

2.) Memorial Day weekend is when the temperature really starts to climb the charts, so bring plenty of water. It is extremely important to stay hydrated, in order to prevent heat strokes.

3.) Keep an emergency kit in the car when traveling. Your emergency kit should have an ice pack, bandages, ointments and any other necessary items. Always keep it well stock and in a convenient location. Also, always remember to keep your Ident-A-Kid card handy at all times when traveling with children.

4.) If alcohol will be present, make sure there is a designated driver ahead of time. Never drink when operating a vehicle, boat or swimming.

5.) When barbecuing, make sure your grill is at least three feet from your house, and on a nonflammable surface. This is to protect your home in the case that a fire breaks out.

6.) Avoid food borne illnesses at picnics and cookouts, by cooking food thoroughly. Always wash your hands before and after handling food. What I like to do is keep a purse size bottle of hand sanitizer on me, at all times. That way if I don't have access to a sink right away, I can make sure my hands stay clean.

7.) When swimming at a public pool, obey all the rules and any posted signs. Create water safety rules for your family and guests, when swimming at home. I would recommend having an adult stay by the pool, to keep an eye on children and help prevent any accidents.

8.) After cooking, a lot of people tend to leave food sitting out. This can cause food to spoil and ultimately make you sick. So package food and keep it refrigerated. Things that are mayonnaise-based like potato salad, definitely must be kept cold.

9.) When boating, make sure everyone wears life jackets, especially weak swimmers and children.

10.) When traveling, don't forget to wear your seatbelt. The possibility of being in an accident is greater during the holiday weekend, so protect yourself and others.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

National Get Caught Reading Month!

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with the literacy of children worldwide. Reading to your children and teaching your children to read is a very important part of their development. May is National Get Caught Reading month. Below is some information from about the importance of teaching children to read and reading to your children.

Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. May is Get Caught Reading month, but the campaign is promoted throughout the year. Get Caught Reading is supported by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Launched in 1999, "Get Caught Reading" is the brainchild of former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAP, the industry association representing book publishers. She saw the opportunity to spread the word about the joys of reading through an industry-supported literacy campaign.

Because of research indicating that early language experience actually stimulates a child's brain to grow and that reading to children gives them a huge advantage when they start school, we hope to encourage people of all ages to enjoy books and magazines and to share that pleasure with the young children in their lives.

Get Caught Reading are honored to have the support of well known figures including First Lady Laura Bush, Drew Carey, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Donald Duck, Patty Duke, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Graham, Derek Jeter, Vernon Jordan, Jake Lloyd, Rosie O'Donnell, Dolly Parton, The Rugrats, Jane Seymour, Sammy Sosa, Spider Man, Erik Weihenmayer, and Robin Williams, who have all been "caught reading" their favorite books and magazines for print ads and posters seen by millions of people across the country. In addition, more than 200 Members of Congress have been photographed "caught reading" on Capitol Hill.

Hundreds of teachers and librarians across the U.S. have embraced the campaign. They are setting up "Get Caught Reading" corners, allocating a special time each day for leisure reading, and taking photos of students "caught reading" for classroom posters.

Fact Sheet on the Importance of Reading to Infants and Young Children

American families need relevant, focused, timely information concerning their children's well-being. Most parents know that it is nice to read to children every day, but are unaware of the newest discoveries in neuroscience showing that reading aloud actually stimulates the growth of a baby's brain. The AAP has put together a short list of citations to help adults understand that reading aloud to children is as important as fastening their seat belts and providing good nutrition.

A burst of research activity in the past few years is giving us a whole new understanding of how the brain develops and the crucial role of early language experiences, including reading.
Extraordinary advances in neuroscience have been facilitated by the development of sophisticated research tools such as brain imaging technologies, making it possible to study the actual growth and workings of the brain.

These technological advances have come at a time of growing concern about the health, well-being and academic achievement of America's children. Several important conferences, including a White House Summit in the Spring of 1997, have focused not only on the scientific findings but on their public policy implications as well.

What the research shows:

An infant's brain structure is not genetically determined. Early experiences have a decisive impact on the architecture of a baby's brain.

"A child care provider reads to a toddler. And in a matter of seconds, thousands of cells in these children's growing brains respond. Some brain cells are 'turned on,' triggered by this particular experience. Many existing connections among brain cells are strengthened. At the same time, new brain cells are formed, adding a bit more definition and complexity to the intricate circuitry that will remain largely in place for the rest of these children's lives."

The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child's success in learning to read.

Development of literacy is a continuous process that begins early in life and depends heavily on environmental influences.

Children who are read to from an early age are more successful at learning to read.
". . . reading aloud to children is the single most important intervention for developing their literacy skills," according to a 1985 study by the National Commission on Reading.

Early reading experiences are now recognized as being of such importance that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "pediatricians prescribe reading activities along with other instructions given to parents at the time of well-child visits." The President of the Academy, Dr. Robert E. Hannemann, stated: "We strongly recommend daily reading to children from six months of age."

For more information about Get Caught Reading month and to access promotional items, please visit

For more information about Ident-A-Kid and Child Identification, please visit our website at

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding Professional Help for Your Child

Guidelines in finding professional help in case your child is missing or the victim of sexual exploitation

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with you and your child’s mental well being. If your child has gone missing or has been the victim of sexual exploitation, it is important to take the necessary steps to make sure your child’s physical and mental health is taken care of. Also, the families’ of missing and exploited children may need professional help in order to process and grieve. Below is some information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about finding and deciding on professionals that can help you and your family.

Families faced with the problem of a missing or sexually exploited child may benefit from the help of a knowledgeable and experienced professional. In missing-child cases of all types, parents and guardians may need to call on the services of a qualified and experienced therapist to help them address family stress during the missing event, child recovery and family reunification, or grieving process if the child is recovered deceased. In family-abduction cases in particular, the searching parent or guardian will need an attorney to assist in filing a civil legal action, recovering the child, and ensuring law enforcement brings the abductor parent/guardian to justice. In cases of child sexual exploitation therapists and physicians are helpful both in diagnosing exploitation took place and treating the problems caused by the exploitation.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has compiled these guidelines for parents and guardians when needing to find professionals — therapists, physicians, and attorneys — to assist in treating and resolving cases of missing or sexually exploited children. These guidelines were originally compiled in cooperation with the National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse and Center for the Study of Trauma at the University of California at San Francisco.

Counseling in Cases of Missing Children

Child disappearance for any reason — whether a nonfamily abduction, family abduction, or runaway episode — is a loss that usually creates extreme stress within families. Parents, guardians, and the other children in the family may experience anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, or guilt. While there may be little prior life experience to prepare families for this traumatic event, each family develops its own way of coping. In some instances the other children in the family may be forgotten or ignored due to all of the attention being given to the missing child. You may choose to rely on your own resources along with the support of relatives and friends. Other families, however, may find counseling gives family members the opportunity to express and better cope with their thoughts and feelings about the disappearance, reorganize family responsibilities, and keep communication open during a difficult and often painful period.

Every family with a missing child hopes for a successful recovery. This recovery, however, is only the first part of a family reunification process. The family and recovered child will need to discuss their experiences during the missing event and then begin to rebuild family life. Because the experiences of child victims of a nonfamily abduction, family abduction, or runaway episode may be very different, the tasks of the family and recovered child during reunification may vary.
If your child has been abducted by a nonfamily member, reunification counseling should begin with an evaluation of the impact of the missing event on both your family and child, as well as an assessment of your coping efforts. Nonfamily abductions frequently involve physical, sexual, or psychological abuse of the child. Your child may have been told family members who were “left behind” were dead or no longer wanted him or her. Efforts will have to be made to reassure your child that the separation was involuntary and overcome your child’s possible feelings of alienation. Family members need to be patient with the child during the reunification process.

While family counseling fosters the communication essential to rebuilding family life, individual counseling of your child may be necessary to address fears and traumatic experiences he or she may be reluctant to express in a family setting. In cases of extreme tragedy in which your child dies while missing, your family will need counseling to help cope with grief and other feelings. At some point it may be helpful to join a support group with others who have experienced a similar loss.

If your child has been abducted by the noncustodial parent or guardian, reunification counseling may need to address the child’s feelings of separation from or loss of the abductor parent/guardian. The custodial parent/guardian may find it difficult to talk with the child about such feelings in light of his or her own anxiety or anger toward the abducting parent/guardian. Counseling may make it easier for such reactions to be discussed.

If your child has run away, counseling may be helpful in identifying why he or she left home. The act of running away usually results from a combination of unresolved family problems and individual problems. Counseling may also help reduce the impact of the problems and prevent future runaway incidents. Counseling should address all events that occurred during the runaway incident, as runaway children are at high risk for substance abuse, sexual exploitation, and physical abuse. Your child may have left a situation within the home or in some other area of his or her life the parents or guardians may not know about. It is important to allow your child to acknowledge these contributing factors and for the family to address the problems that drove the child to run away in the first place. If these issues are not addressed, the child may become a habitual runaway.

Counseling in Cases of Sexually Exploited Children

When a child has been sexually exploited the child should be seen by a therapist as soon as possible after disclosing the exploitation. Therapy may help your child understand he or she is not to blame and may help him or her cope with the overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame some children have. While physical evidence of sexual exploitation is often lacking, have your child examined by a physician to make sure he or she has not been physically injured . If law enforcement or child-protective services have not already taken your child to a therapist or physician as part of the investigation, you should seek such a professional on your own. A child who appears to be coping with the exploitation initially may not have come to grips with what happened or may be in denial. Children may tell only a part of what happened until they feel comfortable and secure enough to disclose more details. Seek referrals for qualified individuals from the other professionals who are helping you.

Finding a Therapist or Physician

In order to be helpful to you, a therapist or physician needs to have training and experience in handling child sexual exploitation or issues related to family reunification. Many jurisdictions have a child-protection team composed of trained professionals who investigate cases of exploitation and make recommendations for intervention.

What to Look For in a Therapist

• Your therapist should have an advanced degree in a recognized mental-health specialty such as psychiatry, psychology, social work, counseling, or psychiatric nursing. Advanced degrees are master’s degrees (M SW, MS, MA) and doctorates (M D, PhD, PsyD). Make sure your therapist is licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

1. In cases of missing children your therapist should have specific knowledge about the consequences to the child and family following child disappearance, legal issues surrounding child search, and child recovery and family reunification. Therapists with proper degrees and credentials who lack this specific knowledge may be useful if they are willing to seek educational material about the subject.

2. In cases of child sexual exploitation your therapist should have special training in child sexual exploitation, know how it affects children and adults, understand how to place responsibility on the exploiter, and have a treatment plan.

What to Look For in a Physician

• Your physician should have board certification in a relevant medical specialty such as pediatrics, family practice, or obstetrics/ gynecology. Board certification means the doctor has had specific training and experience in that area of medicine after medical school and then passed an examination in that specialty.

• Your physician should have particular experience in conducting medical evaluations of children for sexual exploitation. Child-sexual -exploitation cases may involve complex issues about diagnosis, evidence collection, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

In cases of child sexual exploitation your therapist or physician should have knowledge of the legal issues involved in child sexual exploitation , especially the laws about reporting child sexual victimization ; procedures used by law enforcement and protective services ; the rules of evidence ; and the use of expert testimony in your jurisdiction. If you find you need a therapist or physician with knowledge of or experience in testifying in court about your child’s assessment and treatment, consult with a prosecutor or other attorney. Many jurisdictions have now established child-advocacy centers providing all of the above-referenced services under one roof. Check with your law-enforcement agency or child-protective-services agency to see if a child-advocacy center is in your community.

Where to Find a Therapist or Physician

Many communities have special programs for treating child sexual exploitation or therapists with experience in certain areas. As services to families of missing children represent a relatively new field, however, it may be difficult to find therapists with this specialized training in your community. You may find reputable therapists in your community through the organizations noted below.

• Nonprofit -service providers serving families of missing or sexually exploited children
• Local psychological or psychiatric association referral services
• University departments of psychology or psychiatry
• Child- exploitation hotlines
• Child-protective-services agencies
• Rape-crisis or sexual-assault centers
• Family-court services of court-appointed, special-advocate (CASA) groups
• Crime-victim-assistance programs in the law-enforcement agency or prosecutor’s (district attorney’s) office

Working with Your Therapist or Physician

When you have located a therapist or physician, it is reasonable to ask about his or her experience and training in working with a particular problem. If you are not satisfied, find another professional. Even if you pay a reduced fee or receive services at no cost, you have the right to have a therapist or physician with the proper training and experience. You may wish to express a preference for a male or female therapist or physician.

Discuss your child’s situation openly, completely, and honestly. Trust your feelings and your child’s feelings. Your child and you should feel comfortable with the therapist or physician, even if the examination or assessment process creates feelings of guilt or shame. If you are not comfortable with your therapist or physician, discuss this discomfort openly. If this discussion does not produce positive change, request another therapist or physician.

Provide a complete history so the professional is able to properly assess and treat your child. Try to cooperate as fully as possible and help the child cooperate with the therapist or physician. Ask questions if you do not understand what is happening. Be open and candid in providing information to the therapist about your child and family. This information may be helpful in formulating a treatment plan.

Discuss the fees for examination and find out what services are covered by health-insurance benefits you may have. Ask for a written statement explaining the basis for charges. Your law-enforcement agency or district attorney’s office should be able to tell you if your jurisdiction has a crime-victim-assistance program that will pay for necessary counseling and medical treatment.

During an investigation of child sexual exploitation, therapy, or the medical exam, you may be told there is no evidence of victimization. There may be many reasons for the lack of evidence, but this does not necessarily mean your child was not sexually victimized. And, conversely, behavioral changes may have been due to causes other than sexual exploitation such as a medical, family, or school problem.

Even if no physical evidence was found, the therapist or physician may still be able to testify in court about the evaluation and discuss the fact your child was exploited. It is important for the therapist to continue seeing your child, even if the court does not find sexual exploitation occurred.

Note: All medical professionals and therapists have a code of ethics they must follow. It is always wrong for any professional to be abusive or act in a sexual way with a client. If you believe your therapist or physician is acting inappropriately or is not keeping you informed about the assessment and treatment, discuss your concerns openly. If this discussion does not produce positive change, talk to his or her supervisor or contact a professional or medical association for more help. Do not stay in a therapy situation that makes your child or you feel uncomfortable.

Finding an Attorney

The services of an attorney may be helpful at any time during the investigation of a missing- or sexually exploited -child case, but they are particularly important if you are facing one of the situations noted below.

• Your child is the victim of family abduction and you need to obtain a custody order, file criminal charges against the abductor, and encourage law enforcement to investigate and the prosecutor to prosecute. Note: If your child was taken to another jurisdiction, you may have to hire a second attorney to enforce the custody decree in the jurisdiction to which your child was taken.

• You are considering separation, divorce, or dissolving a nonmarital partnership and want to prevent a family abduction. Or, you want to stop visitation or are considering separation or divorce because your child discloses sexual exploitation. Whether or not you are legally married, you should have paternity established and obtain legal custody of your child. To obtain a custody order you must file legal papers, called pleadings, in the family court. It will be much simpler to do this if you get the assistance of an attorney.

• You want to sue someone who sexually exploited your child.

• You want to sue an agency or institution that failed to protect your child from sexual victimization.

Note: You do not need an attorney merely because your child is testifying in a criminal case regarding abduction or sexual exploitation. You may inquire whether or not your child will be appointed a guardian ad litem or CASA to assist in the court process. Your child may also receive assistance from a victim-witness advocate through the prosecutor’s office. You may want to consult an attorney, however, if you have questions the prosecutor or these other professionals are unable to answer.

What to Look For in an Attorney

Missing-child cases and cases of child sexual exploitation may have complex legal issues. Parents and guardians should consider the items noted below when hiring an attorney.

• Legal advice should come from an attorney only.

• Your attorney should be licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the case arose and/ or where any trial is likely to occur. Only a lawyer licensed in that jurisdiction will know the applicable laws in order to competently advise and represent you .

• If your child has been abducted by a noncustodial parent or guardian, your attorney should be familiar with family/domestic-relations law. You may also want an attorney experienced with the civil and criminal laws applicable to parental kidnapping such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA); Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA ); Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA ); Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, if another country is involved; and child-abduction lawsuits.

• If your child has been sexually exploited , your attorney should be familiar with child-abuse and neglect investigations, the laws about custody and visitation, and new procedures that may be used in trials when a child is a witness. If a parent or guardian has been involved in the exploitation, there may be issues surrounding child custody and visitation.

• Your attorney should be experienced in conducting trials, especially trials in criminal and family court. For example cases regarding child sexual exploitation may require complex pretrial and trial procedures.

• Your attorney should be comfortable advocating for you outside of the courtroom if necessary. For example an attorney may assist by encouraging law-enforcement or other government involvement in your case.

• Your attorney should be honest with you about the case. He or she should vigorously represent your interests . Moreover, your attorney should treat your child and you with courtesy and respect.

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