TORRANCE, Calif. – A newborn baby’s footprint is a memento for parents, but it actually serves a greater purpose as it could help better identify babies who have disappeared.

A new technology is being used at Torrance Memorial hospital to prevent a parent’s worst nightmare. The technology adds a little extra security that could be useful if parents ever get separated from their babies.  

Torrance Memorial is the first hospital to use the CertaScan technology in Los Angeles County. It replaces the old school ink method of capturing a baby's footprints with a digital version. There are only 100 hospitals in the country that CertaScan.

The company provided the machine to the hospital for free, but each scan costs the hospital $9. The hospital says it expects to spend about $25,000 per year to provide this service free to parents.  

According to the company, footprints from birth are a recognized and viable way to uniquely identify each baby. Use of these footprints for forensic identification can be utilized throughout the life of the child.