The first 48 hours after a child goes missing are crucial for locating the child and bringing him or her home, but they can also be the most challenging and chaotic. If your child has been gone for more than 48 hours, you should still try to address these issues as soon as you can. Use this checklist to help you do everything you can in the first 48 hours to improve your chances of finding your child. To further help you understand what you should be doing and why, all of the action items listed here are covered in greater detail later in the Guide. Prior to the arrival of law enforcement and the gathering of any possible evidence, restrict access to your residence. Nothing in your child’s room or your house should be touched or taken out. Your child’s whereabouts could be discovered by looking through clothing, linens, personal items, laptops, and even trash. The checklist in the first chapter contains detailed instructions for securing your child’s room and safeguarding evidence. Ask for the name and contact information of the investigator from the police department who will be looking into your case, and keep it somewhere safe and easily accessible.