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11 apps to keep your kids safe on Halloween

  • Hemu Nigam is an online security expert
  • He lists apps and gadgets to help keep your children safe as they go trick-or-treating
Keep your kids safe during Halloween.
Hemu Nigam

Editor’s note: Hemu Nigam is the founder and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security firm. He is on Twitter and Facebook.

You’ve gotten the best costumes for the kids and more candy than you can eat in a year. As darkness approaches, the kids are waiting by the door to start trick-or-treating. But amidst all this excitement and like all parents, you are worrying about the real dangers that might be lurking out there this Halloween. 

So, how can you be a forward-thinking parent by using the power of today’s technology to help ease your worries and keep your children safer this Halloween?

Here are some great apps and gadgets that you can use and most don’t even require a trip to the store:

Trick or Tracker 3.0 App: Parents can know where their kids are at all times through the push of one button. GPS technology is used to pull the exact location, which is then sent to your phone through a text message. You can set up a "geo-fence" to be notified if your children travel outside a set perimeter.

Insignia Little Buddy Tracker: A tracking unit at the bottom of a trick-or-treating bag or pillow case allows parents to keep tabs on their children at all times. GPS technology provides you with real-time location updates. Customizable safety checks allow you to establish specific times and locations of where your child is supposed to be.

Safety Tattoos: Parents can place temporary tattoos on their children with emergency contact information. They are fun, colorful, waterproof and provide a highly visible form of identification.

Child Safety Flashlights: Special flashlights that emit warm and bright lights to keep your kids visible on dark streets. The flashlights are fun and colorful for children to use and several have wristbands to attach to your child's wrist to give them two free hands for trick-or-treating.  

Life360 App: The location app allows family members to alert one another when they’ve arrived at a destination. It also allows family members to follow each other’s movements with minute-by-minute updates and real-time check-ins with the tap of a button. The app also lets you view safety points and threats that may be nearby.

FBI Child ID App: The free app provides you with a convenient location to electronically store photos and vital information about your children, like height, weight, and photos, so that it’s immediately available if you need it. The app also includes tips on keeping children safe and tells you what to do in the first few hours after your child goes missing.

Lookout App: A free app allows you to see your child’s phone location on your computer or phone. Even if the phone’s GPS is off or the phone battery is dead, Lookout can still locate it on a Google map. You can manage your family’s cellphone mobile devices, as well as back up photos, contacts, and call history.

Google Latitude: This Google Maps feature enables parents to track their kids’ exact location. Once you join Google Latitude, you can invite your children, who must also enable the app on their phone in order to share their location with you. It’s free and provides real-time location of any device. The device’s location can be monitored on Google Maps via a computer, a phone, or a tablet.

Nu.m8+ Tracker Watch: It looks like a regular watch and will provide you with a Google street map view of your child's location. It can even send you text updates of your child's location. 

iSafe Backpacks: A backpack equipped with an alarm system provides kids with an immediate signal for help. The sirens can be heard within a 100-yard radius, sending blast signals in opposite directions. A high-intensity strobe is also activated and can be seen up to 500 yards away. If a kid gets in trouble, they need to tug on the grenade-like pin hidden in the shoulder strap to release an instantaneous help signal.

Child ID Kit: The National Child Identification Program inkless fingerprint ID kit allows parents to take and store their child’s fingerprints in their own home. If ever needed, the fingerprint identification card can immediately give law enforcement the vital information they need to assist them in their efforts to locate a missing child.

Smart Phone GPS: Mobile devices are using GPS-technology locators to help parents keep tabs on their kids. Verizon Wireless, Blackberry, AT&T, and Android Market all offer a family locator service.

Have a great (and safe) Halloween! 

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