Parents are being urged to make checks before they send their children to clubs or outdoor activity groups.
Police say parents should first consider groups such as the scouts
Surrey Police issued the warning after a nine-year-old sparked a missing person search when he failed to return from a walking trip at an agreed time.
They said it turned out the boy was the only child on a trip organised by an elderly man and the pair became lost.
Insp Roger Nield said: "It is important that parents satisfy themselves that a club is suitable for their child."
He added: ""Parents should check and ask to see evidence of public liability insurance and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks.
"If you are told the organisers or persons involved are CRB checked, ask to view their certificate or proof of CRB clearance."
He also recommended that parents first consider sending their children to groups such as the Scouts, Beavers, Guides and Brownies.