Children continue to be one of the most at-risk populations in missing persons cases. There are many official sources that list the factors that make children more susceptible to becoming a missing person.
Here you will see the most important and viable risk factors so that you can protect the children around you.
The Biggest Missing Children Risk Factors
Children who are at or under the age of 13 are more likely to go missing.
- Children who are out of the “range of safety” that corresponds to their age and stage of development are at higher risk of becoming a victim of an abduction.
- If a child has any sort of mental deficiency, or if a child is mentally incapacitated, then that child is at high risk.
- Any child that is dependent on any drug, legal or illegal, is at risk. If the dependence is a life-threatening one, the risk is at its highest.
- Any child that has been missing from home for more than a full day (24 hours) is at higher risk of being a missing person, especially if the absence has not been reported to any local law enforcement agency.
- If available information causes caregivers or law enforcement to believe that a child is in a life-threatening situation, then the child is at a high risk of actually being a missing person.
- If the behavior patterns of a child change significantly from normal patterns, and that change in behavior cannot be explained logically, the child is at risk.
- If a reasonable person believes a child to be missing based on any information or situation mentioned above, and there are circumstances that are involved in a disappearance, then that child should be considered at risk or missing.
These are not the only high-risk factors when it comes to missing children. However, they do cover quite a bit of ground.
It is good to memorize the list above, commit it to heart, and check the children you care about for any of the signs of an at-risk person. It is the job of the community to keep its children safe, so communication between all responsible members of the community is also essential.
Bryan Wallace is a contributing writer for Active Missing People. With a background in journalism and a fascination with true crime—especially stories of people who disappeared without a trace—he is committed to bringing you the latest (and strangest) reports on missing people.
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