(Credit: Nadezhda1906/iStockphoto)

The FBI wants to parents to be more prepared in the terrifying event of a missing or abducted child. Every parent's worst nightmare is their child's disappearance. Using the FBI's Child ID app (iOS, Android) is a precautionary measure parents can take to have information readily available for authorities in case the worst happens.

"When a child goes missing, they are frantic and in a state of shock," Callahan Walsh of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children told ABC News.

Putting information into the app when stress is low can be helpful to police if it's needed in an emergency. After downloading the app, uploading your child's information is simple:

  1. Open the app.
  2. Tap the "+" sign in the upper right corner of the screen (you can add multiple children).
  3. Upload your child's photo.
  4. Fill in basic information (Full name, nicknames).
  5. Fill in address and phone numbers.
  6. Fill in your child's description (height, weight, hair color, eye color, and so on)
  7. Upload additional photos of identifying characteristics (scars, birthmarks, and moles, for example)
  8. Provide guardian's contact information and preferred law enforcement office contact.

SEE: 'Bark' internet safety app uses AI to help parents protect kids from bullies, predators, and more

The app displays tips on keeping kids safe and a checklist of things to do in the worst-case scenario. The app outlines what to do in the first 24 hours and the next 48 hours, the most crucial time when a child is missing. Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can be contacted directly through the app.

Your child's information isn't shared, collected, or stored by the FBI unless it's provided in an emergency situation.

As of last year, the FBI's National Crime Information Center reported 88,089 active missing person cases. Minors (under 18-years-old) made up 37 percent of those missing.

FOLLOW on Twitter for all the latest app news.

(Credit: Screenshot by


  1. The FBI wants parents to download their Child ID app to have information readily available in the event of a missing child.
  2. The app keeps a profile of your child(ren) including photos, basic information, and physical details in the event of an emergency.

Also See:

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.