5 Halloween Apps Changing Trick-Or-Treating Forever
We can repeat the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's assertion that there are no more child abductions or Halloween than on any other night of the year until we lose our voices. We can point out that there are tons of parents out with children on Halloween and lots of neighbors looking out the front door with a cautious eye. None of that will calm the 15% of parents who told children's advocacy group SafeKids that they fear their child will be abducted this Halloween.
This has spawned an entire niche industry of GPS-enabled, smartphone-based apps that parents can use to track their child's every move throughout the neighborhood. The government's Amber Alert system once had one, but it used a nearly $200 GPS device. Many other generic models exist, but mobile customers with a Google Android device have a strong and, for one night, free Halloween option in Trick Or Tracker.The app pairs a parent's phone with their child's phone and allows the parent to get frequent text updates about their child's whereabouts and lets them pull those updates on demand. It also lets a kid find a parent if he or she somehow got separated from the trick-or-treating herd. The app also contains supplementary features including Guards Up, which sets a boundary for the kid in question and notifies parents if it's been breached. There's also a LatchKey feature that notifies a working or otherwise busy parent if a child has arrived home safely. If planting a homing device on a child seems like a bit of an extreme measure, just keep in mind that such measures are the rule rather than the exception when a Pew Research Study indicates that two out of three U.S. parents track their children through technology -- regardless of the family friction that creates when those kids grow into teens. When neither chaperoning a trick-or-treat outing nor verbal agreements are feasible, but parental fears still remain, mobile tracking moves from a last resort to an immediate convenience.
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