“Oh, we don’t have a runaway problem here,”Maureen Blaha, executive director of National Runaway Switchboard (NRS), often hears this statement on her trips across the country. “The problem, it seems, is that it’s never ‘here’ when it’s actually everywhere,”She said.

The latest estimates show that between 1.6 and 2.8 millions young people between 12 and 17 years old run away each year. NRS’ 1-800-RUNAWAY crisis hotline is contacted by more than half of those who are street-dwellers. They call from all 50 states, calling for help because of abuse and family dynamics.

Blaha gives tips to parents to help their child avoid running away. Blaha also provides suggestions for what to do if their child does run away.

Runaway Prevention:

Pay attention. When your child talks to you, listen. Listen when your child is talking to you. Children can tell the difference.

Discuss Your Feelings. Children feel safe sharing their feelings with their parents when they share them. Discuss what it is like to be a parent and encourage children to share their feelings.

Give your child responsibility. You should give your child options, not directives. Make sure they understand the consequences of what they do. Ask your child what they think is appropriate when he or she has to administer punishments. Be sure that the punishment is appropriate. “crime”It is compatible with all other actions that you have taken.

The Run:

Notify police. You must immediately file a missing persons report. Keep track of all details and remain in contact with authorities. 1-800-RUNAWAY It’s anonymous and confidential and available 24 hours a day. A trained specialist in crisis intervention will be able to help you with your situation and offer support.

Tell others. Tell others that your child is missing. Ask for their help. If your teen lives in an area where posters are not available, they can get help. Contact local newspapers and radio stations for information.

Check your Records. There could be clues to where your child is. For clues, look at your phone bill, e-mail activity and social media sites.

Visit this site for more information www.1800RUNAWAY.orgCall 1-800-RUNAWAY for a trained front-line representative.