-- Local Business to Bring Take 25' National Child Safety Model to Chattanooga

(Chattanooga, Tennessee)- Each year approximately one in seven children ages 10 to 17 receive a sexual solicitation online yet only 27 percent of children who received unwanted sexual material online told a parent or guardian according to a report released from the National Center for  Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Take 25' is a national child safety campaign that encourages parents and guardians to take time to talk to their children about ways to stay safer, including the safe use of the Internet (www.take25.org). For children of any age the Internet opens up a world of possibilities for learning and exploring. Unfortunately, it also presents risks. Dallas S. Bunton, Sr. CEO and Chairman of North American Credit Services (NACS) and Medical Services of Chattanooga urges other parents and guardians to join him along with his employees and other community safety and health professionals all coming together on Sunday, October 25 from 1-4 pm at the NACS national headquarters in Chattanooga (2810 Walker Road) to help keep our children and families safer. "Invest in 25 minutes to talk to your kids about safety, specifically Internet safety." states Bunton. "Take 25 is an excellent way for parents to be reminded about safe Internet practices. Something as simple as moving the family computer into a common area allows parents to become actively engaged in their children's Internet use to avoid the risk of on-line predators."

Take 25' is a national child safety campaign and acclaimed best-practice model as endorsed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Services and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) that encourages parents and guardians to take time to talk to their children about ways to stay safer. Created by NCMEC, Take 25' promotes an ongoing dialogue between children, families, and communities about child safety.

An estimated 2,000 children are reported missing every day in the United States according to a May 2009 NCMEC study released. The majority are recovered quickly. Nearly one in six missing children is recovered as a direct result of someone recognizing a photograph and contacting authorities. Local representatives from the Lifetouch National School Studios, Smile Safe Kids' initiative a Take 25' campaign sponsor, will be on site at the Sunday, October 25 event taking photographs that will be provided for free to participants as a part of the Child ID resource kits. Lifetouch's rapid response team provides 24/7 retrieval of children's photographs, thereby giving law enforcement an essential tool - a current photograph - in the event a child goes missing.

NCMEC urges everyone to pay close attention to posters and photographs of missing children. In addition, NCMEC encourages parents and guardians to practice good safety measures by following the important safety tips noted below:

1) Keep an accessible, up-to-date, good-quality photograph of your child in case of an emergency.

2) Never let young children go places alone. Be clear about the places and homes they may visit.

3) Know where your children are and whom they are with at all times.

4) Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it's running or not.

5) Talk openly to your children about safety. Make an outing to a mall or park a "teachable" moment.

Additional local and regional community participants will provide information and resources featuring fire, auto, home, pedestrian, water, sports and recreation, poison prevention with representatives from: the Collegedale Police Department bike safety and child finger printing education resources, Tennessee Highway Patrol's "Tenny C. Bear" & D.A.R.E. programs, Tennessee Safety Council with "Ollie the Otter",  Chattanooga Fire Marshalls, YMCA, Kids on the Block, Erlanger's T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital Safe & Sound' Program, Hamilton County Health Department, Parents Are First Teachers (PAFT), Children's Advocacy Center, Blood Assurance, Beat the Heat' race car team, Face painting by the "Chatta-Town-Clowns", to list just a few. Partnering together to help keep our kids safe and healthy! There will be much for the entire family and it's all free.


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