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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- "The first few hours when a child goes missing are critical. And, the information which we need to obtain many times has to come from the parent. And, it can be tough getting an accurate description from panicked parents," says FBI Special Agent Timothy Gallagher.

And, getting an accurate description from panicked parents can be tough.

Gallagher says, "I remember working these cases 15 years ago, and hand to go to a parent who had lost a child. And, they were fishing around for pictures and trying to remember their height and weight."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's child ID app can change that. Since its launch, more than 140,000 people have downloaded it to their smart phones and tablets.

The app allows parents to send photos of their child, height, weight and other details to thousands of law enforcement officers with one touch.

"If your child were to go missing, with one push of a button, this information is transmitted quicker than you can dial 911," Gallagher says.

"I think what is attractive about it sounds like the process of searching for your child begins immediately," one parent says.

The FBI encourages parents to download the free app as kids start their summer activities.

The federal agency says it does not collect or store any information entered into the app.

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