Over the past 13 years, more than 240,000 children in Missouri have been processed through the MoCHIP Child I.D. Program.
During this year’s Seymour Apple Festival, local parents can protect their children via MoCHIP at no cost, courtesy of Seymour’s Hazelwood Masonic Lodge No. 459, A.F. & A.M., and the Grand Lodge of Missouri.
Free MoCHIP registration will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Station No. 2 of the Southern Webster County Fire Protection District (SWCFPD), located on West Market Street, just off the northwest corner of the Seymour square.
“It’s for all children from birth through age 18,” explained David Smith, board president for the SWCFPD and a longtime Hazelwood Lodge member. “MoCHIP here is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Missouri, and we’re hoping for a really good turnout.”
No parent wants to believe the unimaginable could happen to them, but nearly 2,000 children are reported missing or abducted in the U.S. each day. That’s where MoCHIP is invaluable as a form of identification for children.
Once a child is processed through the MoCHIP program, which takes about 15 minutes, parents are armed with a single, pre-printed envelope that instructs authorities in the event of an emergency. Within a matter of minutes, the MoCHIP compact disc can be loaded into a computer directly from a police officer’s automobile and entered into the Amber Alert system.
Smith said the MoCHIP program consists of five major components — digital photographs, digital fingerprints, vital child information and emergency contacts, a dental-bite impression and two laminated I.D. cards.
“What we ask of parents is that when they come for the free MoCHIP registration is to gather key information for their child, things like names of dentists and doctors, phone numbers, their child’s allergies and medications, workplaces of parents or guardians,” Smith explained. “All of this information is kept confidential, and the data is erased using key state-of-the-art software. The only item retained by us is the signed permission slip.”