Summertime shines light on child safety concerns

Amarillo Police were on high alert after a 9-year old went missing early Wednesday morning.

Luckily, the child was found at a friends house, safe. But the incident is shining light on some simply things every parent should know.

From getting the grill fired up, to the lawn chairs adjusted, and the sunscreen on, it's time to celebrate the fourth. If you're out and about, you have certainly been in a large crowd of people, and that has Amarillo Police warning parents.

"There's a little over 300,000 child a year that come up missing, that are missing because of a step-parent, a mom or dad, a custody issue," said Corporal Jerry Neufeld, Amarillo Police Department.

While only about 200 of those cases are actual abductions, Neufeld says it's important parents keep a close eye on their children and know their whereabouts at all times.

"Keeping a close eye on your kid, close supervision. You need to know where they're at, who they're playing with, who their friends are. If they're going to be in the front yard playing catch, you need to be in the yard with them. You need to explain to them, this is why we need to come straight home, we don't take short cuts, we don't go to a friends house we come home, we check in," said Neufeld.

A question many parents struggle with, when do you alert police if you suspect your child is missing?

"As soon as your child is not where you think they should be, I think that needs to be a phone call to the police. Don't wait two to three hours, by all means, don't wait half a day before you contact the police. We're going to look everywhere we can, we're going to turn every stone, we're going to knock on every door tying to locate that child."

The Amarillo Police Department also has child identification kits available. It has a picture of the child, their age, height and other important information they'd need if your child should ever go missing.

You can call them at 378-9452 for information.