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Better Safe. . .

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

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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