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Archive for Sunday, December 8, 1991

PROGRAM

December 8, 1991

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Brandon Mailand stood up just as tall as he could on the scale.

Carol Mills, a Lawrence Memorial Hospital volunteer, checked the 2-year-old Lawrence boy's height.

"37 inches. Is that about right?" Mills asked Brandon's mother, Michelle Mailand, 2533 Ponderosa Dr.

"Yes," the boy's mother said, and Mills wrote the information down on the IdentiChild data card.

Brandon was one of 62 local children whose parents brought them Saturday afternoon to Sonny Hill Chevrolet-Geo, 3400 S. Iowa, where the free IdentiChild program was being held.

"I think it's great and they ought to do more," Mrs. Mailand said after being given an IdentiChild card, which contained a snapshot of Brandon, his height, weight and his thumbprints. "I'll probably put this with his baby book so I can find it in case of an emergency."

SATURDAY'S program, which was held from noon to 4 p.m., was sponsored by Sonny Hill and LMH. The Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Department and Instant Photo of Kansas City also participated.

"I think it's a great idea that all parents should take advantage of," said Judith McFadden, LMH's director of community relations. "We're doing height and weight and taking their fingerprints. And that way if, God forbid, if they got lost it would be easier to identify them."

McFadden said that at LMH's annual children's health fair, police are asked to come down and take fingerprints of children.

"We have been involved from time to time in photo IDs as well at the hospital," she said. "Anything we can do for parents, the better."

Barbara Hartegan, a photographer for Instant Photo of Kansas City, was running the IdentiChild program.

THE PROGRAM was started about five years ago in shopping malls around the country by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Hartegan said.

"We just carried it on because we thought it was such a great thing to have in today's world," she said. She said Instant Photo has been carrying on the program at shopping centers all across the country.

Hartegan said that 250 to 300 children usually are identified each time the program is set up.

During the past five years, more than 10,000 children have participated in the program in the area, she said.

"The FBI suggests having it done to children under 10 once a year because they change so radically from year to year," Hartegan said. "Most of the children we do are under 10. Every time a program is offered like this it is an opportunity to make a child a little bit safer."

Joan Starks, 831 W. 22nd Ter., brought her children, Reed, 5, and Kelsey, 3, to participate in the program.

"I think it's great," Starks said. "It's good to have, especially with little kids these days."

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