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In Case Your Child Gets Lost...

Krista Fabregas always keeps a close eye on her daughter, Sydney. But one day, the little girl wandered away from day care.

"She just took a wrong turn and went out the wrong door," recalls Krista Fabregas, "She was on her own at that point."

Sydney ended up at a nearby playground, where eventually, a Good Samaritan spotted her.

Krista Fabregas says, "When the woman who did find her approached her to ask where she was supposed to be, Sydney was not able to give her the correct information and wasn't even able to give her information to immediately contact us."

The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen reports every 40 seconds, a child like Sydney goes missing in this country. Often, it takes hours to reunite them with their parents.

Child safety advocate Mary Lynn Fernau says, "Usually, the child will go one direction, and the parent is going another. The child is scared. They get scared, and then if a stranger helps them, they're unable to give their information. They're unable to say, 'My mommy's name is, my phone number is.'"

Fernau says many lost kids can't remember their address, phone number, or even their parents' names, and 98 percent of children never carry personal identification.

"We give our dogs ID tags," notes Fernau, "But yet, we don't give that same consideration, that same tool, to our children, and we need to do that."

Parents shouldn't assume that passersby would help a child find his way home. Fernau says strangers are often more apt to approach a lost dog than a lost child.

Koeppen wanted to find out if that was true. She took a well-trained dog and a child actor to a park.

Alex, 5, was told to pretend he was lost. He was outside the gate to a playground.

The golden retriever, Finnigan, was given a tag with Koeppen's cell phone number. He wandered around with his leash, making it look like he had run away from his owner.

Within a few minutes, a couple of tourists spot the dog. They look for an owner, check out his tag; they even give him a drink from their water bottle. Then they immediately take him to a park employee.

As for Alex, even though he looks and sounds scared, plenty of people just walk by. A man stops and looks at him, but then walks away. Another man, as he leaves the playground, asks if Alex is OK, but continues walking even after Alex pretends to cry.

Next, Alex opens the gate for a couple of women entering the playground. They walk right on through. But neither seems remotely concerned about this 5-year-old standing all by himself.