An infant or child abduction is defined as anytime an infant or child is noted to be missing from any place within the Hospital or Hospital grounds. Notation of a missing infant or child is denoted via the Infant Protection System or Security notification when the infant in question cannot be located or when a parent or guardian reports that an infant or child is missing.
Infant/child abduction applies to children up to the age of 17 and applies to all areas of the Hospital.
What should you do if you suspect that an infant or child has been abducted?
If you suspect that an infant or child has been abducted at the Hospital, contact Security immediately. Provide Security with a description of the infant/child, possible abductor, and last known location. Secure the immediate area where the infant/child was last seen. Hold all persons in the area for Security to interview.
What should you expect if an infant is reported missing on your unit?
If the patient cannot be located, the staff must:
- Contact Security (if security has not already been notified).
- Account for all newborns/children on the unit.
- Contact the nursing supervisor, nurse manager or designee and the adjoining units on the floor.
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the unit and the adjoining units (e.g., closets, utility room). Nursing will assure a lock down of the unit except for emergency admissions (i.e. no visitors, hold all admissions and discharges).
- Search all large bags, packages and back packs which would be large enough to hold a newborn.
- Contact parent/legal guardian if not present.
What are risk factors for infant abduction?
If any of the following situations are known to be applicable to a newborn/child, or to the parent(s) or family member(s) of a newborn/child, then such newborn/child should be deemed at risk for abduction. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Administration for Children's Services (ACS) Protective Hold.
- Petition or Order for Remand Pending.
- Petition or Order for Protective Custody.
- Parental Custody Proceedings.
- Domestic violence proceedings or known history of domestic violence.
- Active ACS Cases.
- Reported history or suspicion of child abuse or neglect.
- Known or suspected alcohol and/or drug abuse.
- Known removal of sibling from the family.
- Family member comments about taking, stealing, injuring or harming an infant/child.