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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The FBI is reminding parents to take stock of their children’s basic information and download the FBI Child ID app.

It’s a tool parents can use to store information about their kids, such as updated pictures, their height, weight, and hair color in case of an emergency. The information remains private, stored only on the device where the app is downloaded but is ready for parents to send to police in an instant if a child goes missing or is abducted.

(Provided Photo/FBI)

“What this app allows you to do is, hopefully, you will never use it or you will never need it, but you will have it on hand at a moment’s notice and you will be able to have pictures of your child. You will be able to have descriptors of their height, weight and you will be able to email that directly to the responding law enforcement agency instead of spending say half an hour to an hour trying to gather all of those things to get to them,” said FBI special agent Andrew Willmann.

Willmann is more than just a special agent with the FBI. He’s a dad to three young kids and understands that keeping track of this basic information in the chaos of life, can be tough.

“I had to check with my wife,” said Willman. “I was like ‘How exactly tall are our children?’ And uh, ‘How much do they weigh?’ Because nobody really thinks about that. They are just normal kids running around. How do you think about describing someone and their physical appearance to a police officer? It is not something you would think about. But, it is something you should just be prepared for in case of the worst happening.”

(Provided Photo/FBI)

According to the FBI, every 40 seconds in the United States a child is reported missing. During the summer months, children are also more likely to simply get lost outside.

“So, this app is designed to store all of that information. To store pictures of your children and to store everything you might need, that the police might need to help get information to the public and help find your child,” said Willmann.

While child abductions are extremely rare, they do happen. When these rare situations occur, time is of the essence.

“When a child is murdered or killed during a child abduction, 50% of those children are killed within the first hour. And then of those that are killed, that number goes up to approximately 75% at three hours and then unfortunately of those that are killed, 90% of them are killed at the 24-hour mark,” said Willmann. “So, we are racing against the clock when we do have a child abduction. So, this app just allows you to spare those precious minutes at the very beginning.”

Parents are urged to keep the information current, updating the app after their child’s annual checkup and again just before summer.

“So, when we have a fire at our house or something similar, we always try to keep fire extinguishers and we want to be prepared for an emergency. In the same way, we want to try and keep all of our children’s information handy in case of an abduction,” said Willmann.

The FBI also said parents should make sure their kids know their full name, address and phone number in case of emergency.