Halloween is the time of year when you should be focusing on tricks and treats not lost boys and ghouls! We send our little ones out to join in the candy chaos in our own neighborhoods, in some cases driving to spots we know provide a more bountiful booty, never thinking that a crisis might be right around the corner.
This year, we thought we would give parents a few simple tips and some great tech to head out with on Halloween! For those with younger children, having them hold your hand while you walk the block isn't always an option as they're eager to run up to the next porch and say that magic phrase, "Trick or Treat!" If you don't want to put one of those cute little leash/backpack things on your children (I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of those), we have the Child Locator and Advanced Alert System from Mommy I'm Here, Inc. Think of this product as a digital version of that little child leash/backpack toddler tether. The Child Locator/Alert is a proximity device… nothing more, nothing less. No companion app, no learning curve! You simply turn both devices on, arm them by and when either person holding either part of the device becomes separated by 25-40 feet, the distance activates a loud series of chirps on the key chain unit. You then push the alarm button which sends the teddy bear into action and sets of its loud, high pitch alarm. If you lose sight of your child while they're wearing this device you can also just press a button on the device to manually activate the alarm. It really is that simple!
Mommy I'm Here Child Locator
Prices start at $29.99, all the way up to $57.95
The next product we looked at was the AmberAlert GPS unit. This one, I would say, is for older children or parents who want more "reach" and greater detail when looking into the whereabouts of a child who isn't in your line of sight. This product actually requires a monthly fee and reports back quite a bit of detailed information to either a web portal or an iOS or Android app. When you view the location data for your child you can see it on a map via the web or app. The data set you are able to view includes:
Registered sex offenders living in the vicinity (You can choose to be notified when you child comes within 500 feet of a registered sex offender's residence.)
Create digital fences, or virtual "boundaries" around places your child frequents like your home, their school or anywhere else you'd like to receive alerts for when they enter or exit these zones.
Speed alerts so you can know how fast your child is moving in a vehicle. You will see this on the map, or you can set up a notification tell alert you via text or email if they're moving faster than a preset limit.
Other features include:
SOS Button your child can push if they need help. An alert will be sent to 10 pre selected people via text messaging or email.
2-way voice which allows you to call the device and listen in to what's going on around your child or your child can press the voice button which will call you and allow you to listen in.
"Breadcrumbing" is what the AmberAlert makers call a feature which allows you to set a schedule, either in minutes or hours, which allows you to receive regular alerts via email or text with the location of your child so you don't have to check in if you don't have the time.
Some of this may seem a little "overkill" to some parents, and that's fine, but there are those parents who may find great value in products like this as both may work long days, leaving children to take buses home on their own, etc. Not to mention, we also have the helicopter parent phenomenon- not judging!
Amber Alert GPS
They have various tiers of pricing since the device operates somewhat like a cell phone with its SOS calling feature, so see the site for further details on pricing and availability.