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Not many parents want to think about, or worse yet, plan for the possibility of something bad happening to their child. But, unfortunately, child abductions, fires and general disasters do happen and parents should be prepared.
CHIP (Child Identification Program) is the most comprehensive identification plan anywhere, and it is coming to Stoughton this weekend.
The program, provided free of charge, offers parents the opportunity to gather several items that could be essential in identifying a child following an unthinkable occurrence.
Pat Small, Stoughton Public Schools nursing director, attended a juvenile justice summit hosted by the Norfolk County District Attorney's office this summer and learned firsthand the importance of CHIP. She decided to bring it to Stoughton through the schools because she felt it was the best way to reach all parents.
"Hopefully all of this information sits in someone's closet and never is needed," said Small, referring to the identifying items generated through the program. "But if they need it, it will be there for them."
During the CHIP event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. at the Gibbons Elementary School, each child is videotaped to capture their appearance, speech, mannerisms and other important characteristics. A dental imprint is taken from each child, which gives both accurate and important information on all children, even those who are losing and gaining teeth. The imprint also gathers very valuable saliva that provides DNA, a state-of-the-art way to positively identify a person. Lastly, the child is fingerprinted - another well- known means of identification.
To get the impression of the teeth, children bite into a little plastic wafer that has been heated enough to mold, but not hot enough to burn, according to local dentist, Dr. Robert Horn.
The impression is put in a plastic bag and given to the parent.
"The prints will change as the child loses teeth and gets more, but the DNA will remain the same," said Horn, who will be volunteering at the event.
"No one wants to think of the terrible things that can happen, but in a case where they do happen, it is important for the parents to have some way to identify the child," said Martin A. Kaplan, another one of several local dentists volunteering time to work at the CHIP event. "This safeguard can provide closure," added Kaplan, who thinks so highly of the identification process that he is now offering dental imprints free of charge to his regular patients.
"I think it is very important for all kids to be protected," said Kaplan.
The event, sponsored by the Stoughton Public Schools, the Massachusetts Freemasons and the Rising Star Lodge in Stoughton, is open to all children in Stoughton 18 years of age or younger. The program is free and all identifying materials from Oct. 16 will be given to parents/guardians for safekeeping. No copies are kept on file, according to Small.
Mike Sammarco, master of the Rising Star Lodge, is helping Small coordinate the event. All of the equipment, including cameras, video tapes, registration forms and materials needed by the dentists, is donated by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
"This program provides peace of mind for the parents. Should anything happen to their child, they will have all their records," said Sammarco, noting particularly how important the video is in the case of a missing child. "To have video of the child alone, not from the last birthday party wearing face makeup standing beside a clown, but by themselves showing their mannerisms. It is so important."
Sammarco said it is essential for parents to update the video yearly. He encouraged them to save the tape and bring it to the CHIP event. Volunteers can add the most recent film footage to it.
"When the child is all grown up, they'll get a kick out of watching their video and seeing how they changed from year to year," suggested Sammarco.
The CHIP event is also sponsored by the Massachusetts Dental Society and the Massachusetts Crime Prevention Officers Association.
Hoping that many people take advantage of the program, Small expressed her gratitude to the many volunteers who signed up to make it all possible.
"We are so thankful to the school department for their support and so pleased with all the wonderful people who have agreed to volunteer on a Saturday to do something important for our kids," said Small.
The CHIP event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gibbons Elementary School on Morton Street. Stoughton Police Juvenile officer Allen Curtis and the following local dentists will be volunteering their time: Dr. Seth Roth, Dr. Paul Niosi, Dr. George Mark, Dr. Martin Kaplan, Dr. Robert Horn and Dr. Andrew Croke.
Originally posted by Telafree
I think it'll start with some sort of ID card before they start implanting it into anyone. I know there's a family that has already had themselves chipped but I think the card will come first.
just my 2 cents
Originally posted by Nohup
Where are you going that you are worried about being tracked? I go from my home to my job and around town a little bit. Every once in a while I'll go to the beach, sometimes camping. I'm relatively easy to find already.
What are you up to?
Where are you going?
What are you hiding?
Originally posted by Telafree
I don't think it'll ever get to the point of mandatory chipping. i really don't. Call me whatever you want, but I think the worst of it will be the ID cards. I mean sh*#, animals have been chipped for YEARS. Even one of my own cats has a chip in it, but that hasn't paved the way for chipping in humans (by the way I'm having deja vu writing this post). I just feel strongly that it won't get that far. Im not trying to say any of you are wrong for thinking that it's coming, just that I disagree and think that it won't happen.