National Missing Children’s Day

The United States observes National Missing Children’s Day to improve child abduction awareness and the location of missing children. The date falls on May 25, the day that a New York boy vanished while walking to school. The holiday has been commemorated since 1983.

Events are usually organized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children with the goal of spreading child abduction awareness and prevention. A main initiative includes “Take 25,” named after the 25 minutes that the organization believes is necessary for a sufficient talk about safety with children. These initiatives aim to educate parents, teachers, and children.

Holiday History

The date of the holiday was chosen to mark the abduction of Etan Patz on May 25, 1979. Etan’s case was the first to receive national media attention, which raised the issue of child abduction throughout the country. Previously, the country lacked education and awareness on child abduction and the safety measures parents and children should take to prevent it.

As a result, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Missing Children’s day in 1983.

The Take 25 Campaign

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s initiative, Take 25, is still educating citizens of child safety to this day. The initiative holds over 20,000 events each year worldwide. The program encourages parents to format these safety talks to fit the child’s age, as this changes the child’s vulnerabilities and ability to defend against attack. The safety talk includes basic safety and also awareness of strangers, helping children learn to identify between trusted adults and potential abductors.

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