Peter's Blog


International Missing Children's Day, May 25, 2011


International Missing Children's Day May 25, 2011

Etan Patz StoryEarly one morning, a little boy by the name of Etan Patz grabbed his school books, donned his Future Flight Captain's Cap and gave his mother a goodbye kiss before leaving to catch the bus to school. The sight of her blonde-haired, blue-eyed son playfully making his way up Prince Street in New York, was to be Julia's last. He was six years old.

Etan's disappearance, still unsolved, is just one of many horrifying stories of children who seemingly vanish without a trace. For the families of these children, the years can go by without any answers and hope begins to fade. That's why the anniversary of Etan's disappearance. May 25, has been named National Missing Children's Day in recognition of all missing children. Throughout Canada and the USA, it is a special day, symbolic of renewed hope and remembrance of those still missing. (story courtesy Childfind BC Website) 

  • EMERGENCY INFORMATION: Make sure you fill out an emergency information sheet for each child.  This piece of paper should include the standard contact information for emergencies, but should also include medical information (allergies, medication, etc) and information on favorites foods and places.  More and more families are starting to use a secret code word that can be used for children to verify the identity of adults who are trustworthy versus strangers.  Make sure the local police and fire department have this information at a minimum.  All emergency contacts should also have this information.  Here are links to Child Safety Emergency Contact Forms in Word Format or in Adobe Acrobat PDF form that was  put together by .  Please share, re-share, adapt, and make these child safety forms your own.   
  • Child Find British Columbia Child Find BC, offersChild Find BC fingerprinting and ID clinics, & have been able to assist in the   retrieval of many lost children as recently as May 20, 2011 and at their Victoria office is an excellent resource for additional information and support if and when further assistance is needed. Childfind BC also assists with completing  Child Identification kits upon request.
  • FINGERPRINTS:Take your kids fingerprints.  This is basic child safety, but essential to child safety.  Keep a copy at home.  Make sure the police have a copy.  This is basic but very important.  You can obtain a basic fingerprinting kit from any RCMP detachment office or at your local Walmart store (we tried our local Walmart superstore, and they did not have them but others might). Check out the RCMP Website for order forms 

  • RECENT PICTURES: Make sure you and the police department have recent pictures of your children.  This should include a clear, head-on picture as well as a profile picture.   
  • Creating a computer file folder: For each family member with essential information about the person, pictures, medical information and any other personal information, that can assist others in helping find a person.
  • DNA SWABS:  You may have been aware of the first 4 steps, and we have in the past organized and coordinated child identification clinics, but this one was new to us....  Here is what you need to do. 
    1. Find a cotton swab.
    2. Have your child open his or her mouth.
    3. Rub the inside of her cheeck with the cotton swab.
    4. Put the cotton swab in a zip lock bag.
    5. Label the zip lock bag with his or her name and the date.
    6. Put the zip lock bag in the back of the freezer.
    7. Repeat this every two years.
    8. Parents should do this as well.
    9. It's that easy.  In the event something does happen (God forbid), you have a DNA sample that you can quickly hand over to the authorities. 

There is nothing that hurts me more than seeing a child safety Amber Alert on the highway.  Obviously, you need to protect your children and teach them properly in terms of where to go and not to go, who to speak with and who to avoid.  But in the off-chance that something happens, make sure you are prepared! We want to Thank Nikesh Paresh CEO of Active Rain and his recent post about child safety which was the source and inspiration for this post.

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Peter Pfann,

CPCA, ABR, SRES, E-Pro, IMSD, Master ASA, C-CREC, Associate Broker.

Text or Talk To Peter @: (1) 250 - 213 - 9490

Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, BC, Canada, @ Fair  Realty Since 1986.

Regional office: 1540 Fort St Victoria, BC V8S 5J2



Peter and Linda, this is an excellent post. You know we have trouble reading stories like Ethan's, but if we re-tell this story and add your suggestions for safety, maybe we will save one child! 

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Hi Al and Peggy,

Thank you for your kind words, the issue and topic is so important and using a real life event to remind people how devastating the experience could be if it ever happened to a loved one is may be not a happy reminder but just as important just the same.

We hope with sharing this post we do stop even on abduction, or retireve one child safely to its family.



Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC about 9 years ago

Peter and Linda, this is an important issue to recognize with a day like this. I could not even begin to imagine the heartbreak of having a missing child. I can't think of anything worse happening.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Hi Malcolm,

Yes, here on the Island we have Micheal Donahue and his disappearance many many years ago to remind us of the trauma attached with this type of crime. as you say it is still nearly impossible to imagine to have to experience

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC about 9 years ago