Halloween Safety Tip: App Lets You Keep Track of Your Kids During Trick-or-Treat
by Madeline Holler . (This article originally appeared in Babble.com on October 22, 2012)
My best memories of Halloween aren’t the costumes, the haunted houses or even the piles of candy (well, maybe the piles of candy). It’s that my sister and I and our friends got to run around the neighborhood, at night, knocking on doors for Snickers bars. Even in the rain!
But in this age of scared-to-death parenting, of course my kids have never experienced that. There’s always an adult in attendance, which minimizes shenanigans and is probably a total sugar buzz-kill.
For parents toying the idea but not yet ready to send their Buzz Lightyears and trampy witches out totally off the leash on Halloween, there’s an app that might meet kids’ and parents’ needs in the middle: Trick-or-Tracker.
Your kid needs an Android phone to use it but basically it’s a GPS that is set to point them back to home and/or Mom and Dad, wherever they may be (following 20 paces behind is my guess). Parents can have any kind of phone, incidentally, only the trick-or-treater has to have an Android.
Parents can also set up a virtual fence. If kids go too far, parents get a text to remind them to go into panic mode.
The app is $5 and you can get it at the Amazon App store.
Or parents can do things the old-fashioned way: tell them where they can go, give them a flashlight, gather up a pack of friends and tell them to be back by 8. (Or 7 or 10 … whatever your limits.) Remind them to not talk to strangers, to throw out the apples and to save all the Snickers for you.