DNA Collection

DNA Collection - en español

Sometimes, when fingerprinting a child, it is difficult to obtain quality prints. The child’s fingers can be small, they squirm, the ink smears or they may be frightened by the procedure. To help parents, a combination of the following recommendations can be used to obtain DNA samples from children.

1. Use a Q-tip to swab inside of your child’s mouth, being careful to swab the cheek area instead of the teeth. That is where the cells are. Use several Q-tips to take several samples. Place in a zip-lock baggie and label the outside of the bag with your child’s name and date. Immediately place in the freezer or within 1 hour.

If you are unable to immediately freeze, let air dry. The Q-tip with the sample cannot touch another object. Stick the end without the sample upright in some clay or play dough to air dry before putting in the baggie. Then you can store in the freezer.

2. Store you child’s old toothbrush in a sealed baggie, label, date and put in the freezer.

3. Save your child’s baby teeth. Use an old film canister, label and put in the freezer.

4. Collect hair from your child’s brush. Label a plain envelope with you child’s name and put the hair inside. You can collect hair samples and put in the same envelope for several years. Just make sure that the hair has a root. The envelope does not need to be in the freezer. If you decide to freeze, put the paper envelope inside a baggie first to protect it from getting wet.

5. Collect hair when you wash your child’s hair. So as not to hurt, when the hair is wet, twist a few strands and pull. They won’t even know you took a sample. It is the root that contains the DNA.

6. If your child has exclusive use of a hair brush you can save that in a baggie.

Other recommendations to help find a missing child are to carry a current photograph and provide one to relatives and baby sitters who may be caring for your child. Remember what clothing your child is wearing. Teach your child to run and find you and ask permission before going anywhere or taking anything from someone that they don’t know. Store an old shoe in a sealed container to use for scent. For participation in “Tooth prints”, contact your local dentist.

Courtesy of the Olathe, Kansas, Police Department (913) 971-7500