Back to School: How to Keep Your Child’s Identity Safe

With Back-to-School time rapidly approaching, parents are soon to be inundated with forms to fill out, doctor's appointments to make and sports teams to sign up for. It's also high time for identity thieves, who often covet the clean credit records of kids. Children also make attractive targets as their crimes might not be discovered until they are adults, applying for their first credit cards.

Check out our list below for useful tips on ways to protect your kids' identities as they head back to school.

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—If a daycare or preschool asks for your kids' Social Security numbers and birthdates, ask why they need that information and how important it really is, recommends MSN Money. Could you give a birth month and year? Is there another identification number they could use?

—There's a good chance you'll wind up in a doctor's office or health clinic waiting room, in line for booster shots, check ups or required immunizations. Medical providers often assign identification numbers to patients, making Social Security numbers unnecessary, according to MSN Money. If yours asks for your kids' Social Security numbers, ask if there's another number they could use instead.

—It's a common and easy way to collect parents' information — send a clipboard around the bleachers during practice. But do you know who will see the details you write down? Some organizations do background checks on their staff and volunteers, and others don't. MSN Money recommends writing "information to come" if you are uncomfortable answering any questions. Then check with the coach after practice.

—Never carry your children's Social Security cards with you. Store them in a safe place, and protect them as you do your own, recommends The Dallas Morning News.

—If you receive a letter stating that your kid is the victim of a data breach, take advantage of any free identity theft protection services that are offered. Call the three major credit bureaus and ask for a fraud alert to be placed on your child's credit report, according to The Dallas Morning News.

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