WASHINGTON, D.C. – It's the nightmare scenario every parent dreads: losing a child in a shopping center or during a picnic or trip to the beach. Each year 800,000 children are reported missing in America, including some who are lost, injured, have run away from home or are abducted. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority are reunited with their families, but even being lost for just a few minutes can be heart-stopping for parents and children alike. How much better would it be if an alert could be put out immediately about the missing child to increase the chances of a quick, happy ending?
It is with this in mind that Stephen Fern, father of six, and his brother Darren, a surgeon, developed the Lost Kidz app. The free app allows parents to send details of their missing child to people within a one mile radius, alerting the local community about a lost child. Whether in a park, a seaside resort or a shopping center, people nearby will be alerted as soon as the parents use the app to activate an alert.
Parents can add optional details such as the place the child went missing, name and age of child and description and photo. The search alert radius is widened every five minutes until the child is found and safely reunited with their parent or caretaker. If someone finds your child, they can call you directly, and if they have information about a sighting, that is texted via the app to ensure that every piece of relevant information is logged in the system to help in the search for the child. When a parent is reunited with the child, the app asks the user to confirm this and a message is sent out to everyone in the area. The app uses technology to help parents to take control of a situation in a time of critical stress, whether at home or abroad.
Co-founder Stephen Fern, who lost his own child on a busy street but was luckily reunited, is asking parents around the world to download the app today on International Missing Children's Day on May 25, to help with the search for missing children and to minimize as far as possible the risk of child abduction in local communities worldwide. Parents may download the app and for a 99-cent annual subscription register any number of children with their details in the event of an emergency. That way, should their child go missing, all the details are loaded ready for an alert to be sent out. By downloading the app you will also play a crucial role in helping to reunite another parent who may go through the nightmare scenario of losing a young child. To help protect even more children nationwide, Mr. Fern and Lost Kidz are proud supporters of the lifesaving programs of American Humane Association, which for 135 years has worked to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect, and cruelty.
"Losing a child even for a few minutes is every parent's worst fear," says American Humane Association Vice President of Children's Programming Sue Lohrbach. "The application and development of technology by Lost Kidz represent an evolutionary step in increasing security for families. We also deeply appreciate Mr. Fern's pledge to support children everywhere through the vital programs of American Humane Association. Thank you!"
Stephen Fern is a trained lawyer and chartered accountant, and has a digital web marketing business, E-scape. He has six children ages 1 to 17 and lives on the island of Jersey. The Lost Kidz App can be downloaded free via the iTunes store. Plans for an Android version are in progress.
For more information go to www.lost-kidz.com.