CABRAMATTA local area commander Superintendent Wayne Murray has called on parents to remind their children of the importance of letting them know where they are going.
The call comes after a major search last week for nine-year-old Canley Vale Public School pupil Nathan Parker, who turned up at school last Wednesday after an unauthorised sleepover.
Superintendent Murray said the incident was major concern for all involved.
Nathan was new to the area and unfamiliar with his surroundings.
"There is a sense of frustration on my behalf," he said. "A huge amount of police resources and public expense goes into these [searches]."
PolAir, the dog squad, the regional enforcement squad and general duties officers were part of the search, as were SES volunteers.
On the morning Nathan was found, police divers were preparing to search the creek line at Canley Vale.
Superintendent Murray said it was also important for parents to remind children that if they are waiting at the school for parents who are either late or miss the appointment to go back into the school rather than trying to make their own way home.
"We've [also] got to keep reinforcing with our children the message that you are not to go to people's placesfor a sleepover without permission," he said.
"And if you happen to get a young child come into your home who wants to have a sleepover, you must contact the parent and be responsible."
Nathan's mother Kim Parker said fears for her son's safety grew as time passed.
"I started freaking out and it escalated to getting worse the longer he was away," she said.
Miss Parker contacted police about 7pm on Tuesday, October 8.
Nathan and his brother Jordan, 11, finished school at about 3pm that day and Miss Parker said she had been due to pick them up.
"I really didn't think for one minute that he [Nathan] would be someone else's house," she said.
"I've been here for about 3½ months and it's only been in the last month that I've let him walk home, only a matter of five times.
"When I went to pick them up and Nathan wasn't with Jordan I thought maybe he had walked home," Miss Parker said.