National Missing Children's Day
National Missing Children's Day is observed next on Saturday, May 25th, 2024 (170 days from today).
National Missing Children’s Day on May 25th each year highlights the child safety.
National Missing Children Day is celebrated to remember missing children and spread the word about child abduction. Across the country, various organizations organize events to promote child safety. This day serves as a reminder for us to intensify our efforts to reunite missing children with their families and to honor all those who are working for a cause.
Most of the missing children return home. Whether they wander or have a misunderstanding, many people find their way back to their families. According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, 99.8% return home. Of those abducted, 9 percent were abducted by their families. Only a small part is the kidnapping of strangers. However, in fact, it can happen to any child, it happens to too many.
While the celebration honors those who have gone above and beyond to protect children, it also provides resources to continue to protect them further. Here are ways to keep your kids safe on a daily basis.
The most important is:
- Maintain custody documents
- Keep recent photos of children in a convenient place
- Also, keep your medical and dental records up to date
Protect your child by:
- Online safety priority
- Complete a career background check and a reference check
- Never leave young children without careers in strollers and car seats
- Whenever possible, do not allow children to wear clothes with their names on them
- Teach them and learn by heart their address and phone number as soon as possible
History of National Missing Children's Day
National Missing Children's Day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to recognize the annual number of missing children. From 1979 to 1981, a series of child abductions shook the United States. And it begins with the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City, on May 25th, 1979, while he was on his way to school from the bus. Unfortunately, Etan was never found but the defendant, Pedro Hernandez, received a prison sentence in 2017.
National Missing Children's Day is celebrated to commemorate the disappearance of Etan Patz and honor all other missing children. During the time of Etan's disappearance, child abduction received little attention from the national media. However, Etan's case caused uproar and received a lot of attention. And as a result, there is a large amount of search and increased public attention on child abduction cases and a lack of proper plans to address the issue. This eventually led to the Lost and Exploited Children Movement.
The United States Department of Justice celebrates National Missing Children's Day by organizing an annual ceremony to show their gratitude to the heroic efforts of all organizations, agencies, and people working to protect children.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) organizes events throughout the day to raise public awareness about the threat of child abduction, ways to keep children safe and support victims' families. The center also started a “Take 25 Minutes” initiative that encourages people to take 25 minutes and talk to their children about the importance of safety.
Some facts about missing children that you do not know
- Forget me not
The forget-me-not flower is a symbol of International Children's Day.
- Alarming exploits
In the United States, an estimated one in six fugitives reported (to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) is ultimately child sex trafficking.
- Regular estimate
In the US, an estimated 2,300 children go missing every day and 460,000 children are reported missing every year.
- Not all are kidnapped
Nearly 90% of children go missing or get lost, run away, or misunderstand directions.
- A little piece
Only about 100 cases of missing children (less than 1% of all missing children) are reported.
How to celebrate National Missing Children's Day
- Recognize the dedicated
If there is an organization or individual in your community dedicated to protecting children, organize an event to acknowledge them. You can also spread this information through social networks.
- Organize an awareness event
Host an event with friends in your neighborhood to emphasize the importance of the issue. Discuss various ways to better promote child safety.
- Attend a ceremony
If there's a ceremony in your local area honoring law enforcement and/or dedicated citizens, attend it. Also, use the hashtag #NationalMissingChildrensDay and share this on social media.
ObservedNational Missing Children's Day has been observed annually on May 25th.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022
Thursday, May 25th, 2023
Saturday, May 25th, 2024
Sunday, May 25th, 2025
Monday, May 25th, 2026
President Ronald Reagan on May 25th, 1983