For many children in America, Halloween is a staple of the childhood experience. There’s nothing quite like running from house to house dressed as a favorite monster or superhero and getting candy for it, and the day when a child finally gets to do it without parental supervision is almost a rite of passage. But while your kids will be jumping and laughing their way to an upset, chocolate-filled stomach, you’ll be sitting in the living room fretting about their safety. Luckily, today there are apps to track your kids from the comfort of your home so you’ll know where they are at all times. Here’s a list of a few of them:
Your Friendly, Neighborhood Cell Phone Service
Many of the major phone carriers have thought of you, the worrying parent, and provide services for tracking other members on your family plan. Sprint and Verizon have Family Locator services, AT&T has Family Map, and T-Mobile offers both a regular and premium service for the aptly named FamilyWhere Check-In service. These services, both paid and provided, offer you a chance to bundle the tracking feature along with your phone payment plan, saving you a bit of hassle looking through apps to track your kids online or through the app store. Each service provides different features for their provided tracker, so take a look before committing.
GPS Location Tracker
This $3.99 tracker app is available for iOS, BlackBerry, Kindle, Android, and Windows Phone. This is a handy little app that plots routes and pathways that your family members have taken over the past few days, as well as showing you exactly where they’re going at the moment. GPS Location Tracker is great especially if you don’t have a smartphone of your own, since the app data is accessible from any device with an Internet connection.
A free app for iOS and Android, Life360 has merged tracking technology with social apps so you can both track your kids and communicate with them at the same time. You get alerts for when members get to set destinations and can even initiate conference calls with everyone you’re currently tracking. It also has a very user-friendly interface, so while you’re sitting at home while your child is out in costume and bringing a little excitement to your neighborhood, you’ll at least have a pretty app to explore.
Now this one is more for the parent worried about their teenager. Canary is a free download for iOS and Android and has a one-time lifetime subscription cost of $14.99, but it offers a lot more than most other apps. If your teen has just begun driving and you want to monitor their phone use habits while in the car, Canary is the way to go. Unlike some services that disable phones when teens drive a certain speed, Canary will keep the phone active while sending you detailed usage information regarding phone use while the car is moving faster than 12 mph. If your teen is talking or texting, you’ll get an alert on your phone that tells you not only how fast they were going, but where as well. You can later use this information if you want to have a discussion with your child on safe driving habits.
While it might be scary to start trusting your child in the hands of his or her friends and the safety of your neighborhood, it doesn’t mean you have to completely lose track of them. With many young kids today having smart phones, apps to track your kids can bring great peace of mind to any worrying parent.