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May 27, 2014

FBI offers advice on how to keep children safe this summer

NORMAN — The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Oklahoma City Division is sharing tips on how to keep children safe and information about how the FBI investigates instances of child abduction and exploitation.

Through the Child Exploitation Task Force, the FBI works to decrease the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation, provide a rapid investigative response to crimes against children, and enhance the capabilities of state and local law enforcement agencies.

An unfortunate reality is that every year, thousands of children go missing. In these cases, the FBI works to assist in the investigation and speedy recovery of the abducted child.

In cases of child exploitation, an individual often targets a child for the purpose of abuse or violence. This targeting can be done in person by an acquaintance or a stranger, or it can be done online through social websites and chat rooms.

To help in child abduction recoveries, the FBI has developed the Child ID app, which provides an effective way for parents and guardians to keep their child’s pictures and information on hand, in case he or she goes missing. The app also includes safety tips for parents to help keep their kids out of harm’s way.

The app is free and in the event a child goes missing, parents and guardians can quickly email photos and information to authorities. No information about you or your child will be collected or stored by the FBI.

To download the Child ID app, go to iTunes App Store on your iPhone or Play Store on your Android phone.

Many parents are planning for their children’s summer activities. The following safety tips will help ensure children are being cared for properly.

· Know child care providers. Choose babysitters, nannies and tutors with care. Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors. Many states now have registries for public access to check criminal history or sex-offender status. Observe the interaction with your children, and ask your children how they feel about your child care provider. Do background screening and reference checks on everyone who works in your home. Make sure you know as much about them as they do about you and your family. For access to sex-offender registries, visit nsopw.gov.

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