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Better Safe. . .

One mom hopes child ID cards mean parents will never have to be sorry.

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This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Start Up.

Her daughter's traumatic car accident in 1993 propelled Denise Johnson to quit a successful corporate position and pour all her savings into purchasing an Ident-a-Kid Services of America franchise. The company sells identification cards that include a child's physical description, color photograph, fingerprint and parent/guardian address. Denise, 49, recalls her own personal crisis when the hospital had difficulty locating her after her daughter's accident: "What if there had been [fatal injuries], and I had been too late? I never would have been able to live with that. If those cards can save just one parent from that hell, you're darned right I believe in them."

In addition to being used to identify a child involved in a car accident, the cards are used in a myriad of situations, from simple airport check-ins to child abductions. Franchisees sell Ident-a-Kid cards at local day-care centers and elementary schools to parents of infants to eighth-graders. The franchisor provides equipment, copyrighted software, supplies and hands-on training.

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