Florida begins child ID program for emergencies, parents get kit to take fingerprints, DNA samples

The kits include identification cards about the physical characteristics of a child along with photographs, DNA and fingerprints.
Students gather to listen to a U.S. Department of Education official, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2013

Florida has begun rolling out its Child ID program that includes kits for parents to collect vital information and data including fingerprints, DNA samples and photos to give to authorities in cases of missing children and other emergencies.

About 250,000 kits will be distributed in Florida as part of the National Child Identification Program, which operates in 25 states.

The kits are being sent to public, private and charter schools that will in turn give them to parents. They are designed to be kept at home and as a precautionary measure for emergencies, state Attorney General Ashley Moody said Friday.

The kits also include ID cards on which parents can enter the physical characteristics of a child.

"Child ID kits are a great, low-tech tool that helps parents record and safely store important identification information about their children," Moody also said. "As a mother, I truly hope no parent ever needs to utilize the kit—but should a child go missing, it could prove vital in helping law enforcement and the public in their search."