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DIGIKIDS® -  Helping Parents Protect Their Children with the most advanced and effective child ID available today!
 
 

Make Your Own Child ID

At DIGIKIDS® we are serious about child safety, and committed to offering parents the most advanced and effective child ID available today.

The DIGIKIDS® Child ID Program is offered onsite at Business Sponsored Safety Events, schools and preschools.

To make sure that every child is protected, we also wanted to share step-by-step instructions you can use to make your own portable CD, ID card and posters.

When you are finished, you won't have the automated features of the DIGIKIDS® CD and Quick Response™ Software,  but you will have the basics based on guidelines from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC.org) and something that is much better than an ID card alone.


Make Your Own ID Instructions

What you need:

  • A digital camera
  • Access to a computer and CD-ROM burner
  • Access to a color printer
  • Blank, recordable CD-ROM's (CDR's), and/or Floppy Disks
  • Card stock or heavy paper that will go through a printer
  • Access to a laminator
  • Weight Scale
  • Height Scale

Start Here:

Step 1 - Take two digital photos.
Use the digital camera to take both a portrait and profile of your child.

  • Set the camera file size. According to the digital camera you are using, there are settings to reduce the size of the file (photo) to keep it small enough for both photos to fit on a floppy or transmit via Internet email. Our suggestion is to keep each photo no larger than about 500K. (Our software program uses advanced compression technology to dramatically reduce the file size for quick transfer without any loss of quality. You may want to experiment with smaller file sizes by dragging the finished photo onto your open browser to see the final result.)
     
  • If you have a choice between formats, use the .jpeg setting.
     
  • Have your child remove any distracting items such as hats, glasses, and large play jewelry, etc.
     
  • Use a neutral background. Light or sky blue is usually the best but a white wall will work.

Take head and shoulder portraits from different angles, such as those taken by school photographers.

When you are finished, you want high quality photographs in sharp focus that most resemble your child. Try for candid, as opposed to posed photos, which the NCMEC says “may be more representative of how your child looks than a posed shot."

The NCMEC (NCMEC.org) recommends updating your child's photos and physical descriptions every six months for children 6 years of age or younger and then once a year, or when your child's appearance changes.

Step 2 - Write down a physical description of your child.
To save your information, our suggestion is to use Microsoft WordPad (.txt) as this is the easiest to cut and paste into the many different law enforcement databases if the need should arise. You can also use Microsoft Word or other word processing program. You will be adding this file to your CD or floppy (below).

Include:

  • Color of hair
  • Color of eyes
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Date of birth

Add any descriptive identifiers such as:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Braces on teeth
  • Pierced ears
  • Other unique physical attributes
  • We add health concerns and allergies to the DIGIKIDS® CD and ID card, and suggest that you add those also.

IMPORTANT: Don't include your address, phone number, school or other tracking information criminals could use if you were to lose your ID!

Step 3 - Make an ID card to carry.
Even with the limitations of common photo ID cards, there are times when they are useful for immediate onsite reference, for instance if your child is missing in a store. (See Code Adam ) That's why we include a PVC Color ID Card with the DIGIKIDS® CD.

The card can be as simple as a sharp color portrait photo of your child with the complete description clearly written on the back, or you might want to use a program such as Microsoft Word to layout your own.

NOTE: You don't need to add a fingerprint to the card, since fingerprints aren't useful when you are trying to locate your child. But you should keep fingerprints and DNA of your child in a safe place at home in the event a forensic identification needs to be made. (See Fingerprints and DNA below)

If you don't have a color printer, you can take what you create to a quick print store such as FedEx Kinko's. They can also laminate your cards.

If you make your own:

  • Make sure it is small enough to carry in a wallet or purse
  • Heavy paper or card stock is best
  • Consider having it professionally printed in color so the photo is sharp and clear
  • Protect it by having it laminated
  • Make enough for anyone that is with your child to carry

Be sure to update the photo and description frequently. The NCMEC (NCMEC.org) recommends updating your child's photos and physical descriptions every six months for children 6 years of age or younger and then once a year, or when your child's appearance changes.

Step 4 - Posters
It is a good idea to make a few posters of your child using the photos and descriptions you've put together.

Posters are very useful to post at store or theme park exits if you can't find your child. You may also want to make up a number of ID cards (above) that you can hand out in an emergency.

Many stores have a Code Adam program. When a customer reports a missing child to a store employee, a "Code Adam" alert is announced over the public-address system. All designated employees stop their normal work to search for the child, and monitor all exits to help prevent the child from leaving the store.

Our poster automatically prints from the DIGIKIDS® CD on standard 8 1/2 X 11 paper with about a 4 X 6 photo, and that's the size we suggest you make.

  • View Quick Response™ Software Screen Shots

Step 5 - Save to CD-ROM
It is important to keep a digital form of ID with you and readily accessible so you can quickly respond to a missing child emergency.

The NCMEC (NCMEC.org) says, "When possible the photograph should be in a digitized form, and available on a compact disk (CD), as opposed to just a hard copy. This minimizes the time necessary to scan, resize, and make color corrects before disseminating it to law enforcement."

Like the NCMEC (NCMEC.org), our suggestion is to use a CD-ROM since floppies are easy to damage without you knowing it. For instance, they are highly susceptible to erasure by magnets (such as by a car stereo speaker) and water will damage them. And many of the newer computers don't have floppy drives.

We use a business card size CD since full-size CD's are too large to easily carry. If you don't have access to a small CDR to store and carry your information, you can keep the the large CD in a locked glove compartment, or in a purse. Either way, consider using a plastic sleeve or 'jewel case' to protect the CD.

When copying photos to your CD, they should be in .jpeg format and the physical descriptions in either a .txt file (easiest for law enforcement to work with) or in Microsoft Word. It's best to make a number of CD's so that anyone that is with your child has the photos and information at all times - children are most often reported lost or missing from somewhere other than home.

And finally, we suggest you write the date on the face of the CD with a Sharpie type pen so you can remember to update the physical descriptions and photos at the NCMEC's (NCMEC.org) recommended schedule.

IMPORTANT: Be sure you don't include your address, phone number, school or other tracking information criminals could use if you were to lose your CD!

**A note for MAC computer users: If you create the CD on your Macintosh Computer, please make sure you test it in a Windows® PC. It is much easier to find a Windows® PC when you are away from home to use in an emergency. All police departments and other law enforcement agencies (as far as we know) use Windows® PC's.

Using Your ID

Sending Photos and Physical Descriptions

Most email programs allow you to attach files and send with an email; some are easier to use than others.

You may know exactly how to use your personal email program or online email service, but in an emergency you probably won't be using the one you are familiar with. Children are most often reported lost or missing from somewhere other than home.

To send or attach your files you can usually launch a new email and with the CD you made in the CD drive, navigate to the photos and identifying information and manually attach one at a time. If you can't send email, or the email is rejected by the recipient, you can hand the CD you made to the responding officer who can take it to the police station and manually extract the files.

IMPORTANT: If you do send emergency email, we strongly suggest that you follow up with each recipient to make sure the email went through.

Here's why:

One of the major obstacles we had to overcome when designing the DIGIKIDS® CD was the electronic transfer or broadcasting of the photos and physical description information via email.

Because we automatically attach so many files (more than what you will be doing manually with your CD), many Internet Service Providers (ISP) mistook the emergency email as SPAM or a virus - and blocked the email.

There are also many people that don't have Outlook or other MAPI compliant email program installed on their computer, (or the one they need to use in an emergency) rather depending on one of the online email providers like Hotmail or Yahoo, further slowing or even eliminating the sending of attachments with the emergency email.

The answer was our †patent-pending SMTP eMail Program™ that is fully contained on the DIGIKIDS® CD. With the DIGIKIDS® CD you don't need an outside email program. It also routes emergency email and attachments through a dedicated network so that it is not mistaken for SPAM or virus and rejected.

Fingerprints and DNA

Authorities ask that you keep both fingerprints and DNA in a safe place at home in the event a forensic identification needs to be made. We include our Be Prepared™ Home Fingerprint & DNA Kit with the DIGIKIDS® Child CD at no charge for this purpose.

If you would like to use our kit to take and store your child's fingerprints, you can purchase a kit at the Online Store.

You can also use your local police department, as they will usually fingerprint your child without charge. Some states have developed programs in which a DNA sample of a child is taken at the same time. If this is offered in your state, make sure that you keep the only DNA sample that is taken from your child, and store it in a safe place in your home.

If you have any questions about these instructions, or would like more information on starting a DIGIKIDS® Business of your own, please Contact Us!

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