Is a Child Locator Smartphone App on Halloween Overprotective?

As your and your kids get ready to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood, how will you make sure they’re safe?

Trick-or-treating is almost a rite of passage for children to venture out of their homes at night for the first time without their parents. But thanks to the ever-expanding store of smartphone apps, technology is now helping moms and dads keep track of their kids.

A smartphone application developer, Iconosys, Inc., in Southern California has developed the Trick or Tracker, which allows parents to locate exactly where their children are using the GPS on their trick-or-treaters’ phones.

As children become increasingly tech savvy, they can use their iPhones or Blackberrys to find their way home. The Trick or Tracker has a tracking compass that can guide children home.

Or are these smartphone apps completely overboard? Have adults become too reliant on technology in building communicative, strong relationships with their children?

Others argue that “smart” phones have made children less and less inclined to use common sense, rendering them directionally-challenged.

So tell us in the comments, how will you keep your children safe this Halloween?

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Mark Cwirko October 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
This kind of application (Child Finder) has been around for about 10 years, and the quality of locating the child (the phone really) has gone up significantly with new phones having a GPS chip included. There is nothing specific around Halloween, this kind of application is available year round if interested. As for Parenting vs. Technology, nothing is better than the Parents participating in their child's fun. Get a group of friends together, let the kids go door to door together and have the parents hang together behind them as if you are all just going for a social walk. Make it a fun night for everyone! Some parents have multiple kids and want to give the older one's some freedom on events like this. Having the Kid Finder available "just in case" is a good idea if you have any concerns. It won't stop certain things from happening, and any kid from 4th Grade and up can figure out that if you turn the phone off you can't be tracked. So Parent/Child communication usually works best - the child knows it is there, and that's part of the deal for being allowed to be out on your own at a younger age.
Rebecca Lack October 21, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Apps like this have been around for awhile. My home uses Google's Latitude for my 12 and 15 yr old sons and my 21 yr old niece who works late and walks to and from bus stops. This started when my sons started walking home alone and taking public transportation. Maybe it is over board but I know i feel more comfortable with allowing my sons their independance and they feel safer knowing mom can find them quickly if needed. It has also come in handy when my 12 yr old's bus detoured the route due to construction and called in a panic. I was able to locate him and give him directions home.
Jaime patterson October 24, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Got this app a few weeks ago and I love it. I have used several different ones in the past but this one is really easy to use and works great! Definitely worth checking it out.


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