Using Apps to Keep Track of Your Kids this Halloween

halloween-safety-tips

Every kid wants to enjoy the fun of going house-to-house with friends in the dark trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Many of us parents remember the sheer joy of running through the neighborhood in the dark with friends collecting ungodly amounts of candy. Back then, our parents sent us out the door and let us go. Sure, they worried about urban-legend-inspired razor blades in apples, but didn’t worry as much about stranger danger as we do today or reputation damaging photos on social media.

Related: Protecting Kids from Stranger Danger

Today, things are a bit different. Sending our kids off into the the dark isn’t something we are all comfortable with. And while many neighborhoods around the country have designated trick-or-treating events to keep children and families safe, sometimes that is not enough to reassure parents worried about sending kids off to trick or treat with friends or to attend a Halloween party.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Children to Help Keep Your Family Safe

  • Make sure costumes are safe. Kids don’t want to be restricted in how they wear their costume, but tell your children that there are some common sense rules they should follow. For example, make sure they keep their faces exposed so they can breathe and that their costumes don’t cover their eyes. Discourage them from wearing full masks when trick-or-treating in the dark. Of course, flame-retardant costumes are a must to prevent fire accidents and be sure it’s the right size so they don’t trip over it.
  • Increase visibility. Make sure your child wears bright clothing or even small reflectors. No one wants to worry about their child being hit by a car if they aren’t able to be seen. Encourage younger children especially to choose light-colored costumes. Give them glow sticks and flashlights to carry with them so they can be seen by drivers.
  • Travel in groups. Older kids are going to want to trick-or-treat on their own, without a parent. If they do, make sure they go with at least one friend, preferably more.
  • Monitor social media.  Remind your children to think about the consequences of a picture before it’s posted or messaged to anyone. Halloween is a high traffic time for photo sharing. Monitor your kids being tagged, or comments being made about their spooktakular attire. The MamaBear App can help you monitor your child’s social safety.
  • Track your child’s location. Install a family safety app like MamaBear on every family member’s smartphone so you can monitor your children’s whereabouts. The app allows your children to check in with an emoticon to share where they are and how they’re feeling. Children can also request rides from parents or send SOS messages if they are in trouble. Alerts can let you know if your child has indeed made it to that Halloween party and when they leave.

See Also: Halloween and Safety Tips from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Thankfully, parents have resources today to keep their families safe during the free-for-all that Halloween night can be. Reminding your kids of these safety measures and monitoring their location  and social activity provides peace of mind while allowing your children to enjoy all the candy, haunted houses and other Halloween fun we loved when we were kids.

For more child safety tips visit the MamaBear blog or follow us on Facebook.

Image Credit: Kids Activity Blog

5 iPhone GPS Tracking Solutions for Kids Provided by the MamaBear Family Tracking App

iphone gps tracking kids

The MamaBear app makes iPhone GPS tracking an extremely powerful solution for modern parents who want a little help with child monitoring. MamaBear combines several key features into an iPhone app that’s both easy to use and easy to understand. MamaBear uses a combination of GPS technologies and iPhone features to give parents an effective set of tools for locating kids in a variety of situations.

#1. Easy GPS Location

The MamaBear GPS location app for iPhone is as simple to use as it is to download and install. With MamaBear, iPhone GPS tracking for your children is an extremely simple process. Once the account has been set up and logged into correctly on the child’s phone, all a parent has to do to locate children is open up the app on an iPhone or web connected iOS device and choose which map option to use on the GPS tracker. It’s a fast, easy and effective tool for child tracking.

#2. Location Alerts

MamaBear offers parents a quick solution for parents who want regular updates on the kids’ location. MamaBear can issue parents an alert any time the child leaves a selected location, like school or work, outside of schedule times. The app can also send an alert anytime a child enters an address parents have chosen as restricted. The MamaBear alerts on iPhone are push and email based messages that give parents flexibility on how they want to check in with the app.

#3. Driving Alerts

MamaBear outshines many other options when it comes to using an iPhone GPS to track kids. Even kids who are in transit are easy to track with MamaBear. We offer parents real time alerts on real driving speeds. Parents can program the app to give them an alert anytime a child exceeds a certain speed. Setting the speeds low can ensure children are not driving at inappropriate times, or are only using surface streets.

#4. Check Ins

Many parents using MamaBear have found the app facilitates children checking in frequently. Some children check in more than they did before the app was installed on their iPhone. Children can use the single button interface on their view of the app to issue parents a GPS tagged alert on their location. This makes checking in fast, easy and unobtrusive for kids. Showing our children the app’s utility as a communication tool makes tracking our kids with an iPhone a bit easier. In addition, parents can do the same and share their location as a push notification to their child at select times.

#5. Emergencies

MamaBear for iPhone makes tracking kids easier in emergency situations. When children are in the proximity of a disaster or other dangers, MamaBear can be invaluable. MamaBear allows parents and kids to find one another quickly in emergencies. MamaBear also enables children to alert parents with a one touch emergency button. This gives kids a simple solution to let parents know they are in a bad situation.

With MamaBear for iPhone, enabling GPS tracking for children is as easy as logging into the app. We designed MamaBear to create dialogs with our families by using the most advanced GPS tools at our disposal. MamaBear allows parents and kids to contact each other quickly and easily in a wide range of ordinary and extraordinary situations.

A father’s perspective of using a child tracking app

child tracking app father

I am a new father. With hawk like vision, I spend most of my days transfixed on my new son’s whereabouts, barely letting him break the unseen six foot boundary I have created in my own mind.

This can’t last forever though, sooner or later, I will have to let go, and watch helplessly as my son embarks on his journey into adolescence and beyond.

Do I have to let go fully though?

In the digital age, it is just about possible to keep tabs on anyone with an iPhone, and with social media becoming bigger and more advanced, it takes only seconds to let the world know exactly where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing.

As an adoptive father, I know all too well the security risks posed by social media. My own son’s identity is kept secret for very good reasons, but when the time comes for my son to broaden his horizons, I have no qualms with using a tracking app.

If technology has made parents paranoid, it is not necessarily a bad thing. It is the same technology that is used to groom, manipulate, and take advantage of children. The easier it gets for us to announce our arrival in a foreign country via our mobile phone, the easier it is for children to take that one last, lost step.

More fool you if you think a tracking app is a step too far.

The use of such an app needs to be managed however. It is not a tool to be used to trap your disobedient children, but a safeguard to ensure they can take part in all of life’s fun without the fear of becoming isolated.

I would like to think it can be used with children, rather than against them.

My son is very young, and it is not time to empower myself with this kind of technology, but that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare myself. Who knows where advancements in technology will take us over the next ten or twenty years. It is my responsibility to keep on top of it, at least, for my child’s sake.

 

By:

Andrew McDougall

http://www.theonehandman.co.uk/

The article above was from a MamaBear guest blogger. The MamaBear blog is now accepting guest post from reputable bloggers on a variety of subjects. If you are interested in guest blogging for MamaBear simply contact us here.

5 Things to Pack for Your Child’s Spring Travel

spring trip kids

The makers of the MamaBear family tracker app know a little something about spring parenting. Every year spring means traveling for thousands of kids all around the United States. As our kids grow up, they want to do more than simple afternoon trips and sleepovers. Day trips to amusement parks, camping trips and spring break trips are all commonplace for modern tweens and teens. To ensure our children have a safe and easy spring travel experience, we’ve made a list of five good options parents should pack for their children.

1. Extra Clothes

Even when our kids pack well, they aren’t always prepared for sudden weather shifts or bad weather days that are fairly frequent in many spring break locations. Packing a few extra days’ worth of clothes will ensure your kids stay warm, clean and dry over a camping trip or extended spring trip.

2. Snacks

It’s utterly astounding what our kids think they can live off of when we aren’t around. A diet of fast food, gas station sandwiches and energy drinks will make any trip less fun for our kids. We’ve found that every time we pack healthy snacks and drinks for our kids, they eat them! They can gain valuable nutrition even away from home.

3. Money

Even when we take our kids with us on spring break, kids can be a bit of a money sink. Eating out for most meals, buying knick-knacks and general entertainment like arcades and movie theaters cost even more in many common spring destinations. Packing a little extra money away that our kids can access in case of an emergency can make all the difference to our kids’ vacation.

4. Cell Phone and an Extra Charger

Spring trips and spring break can make an excellent time to give a child a cellphone. Even for kids that already have a cellphone, parents can rest a little easier if they know the phone made it onto the trip and that chargers are available. Packing an extra charger lets us know the phone is charged and on for the entire trip. This is especially important if you’ve loaded installed a parenting app like the MamaBear family tracking app.

5. MamaBear app

The MamaBear family tracking app was made to give parents peace of mind over exactly this type of occasion. With MamaBear installed onto a child’s phone, a parent can easily monitor their locations, as well as their social activity. This lets us know our kids are behaving as much as we expect them to over a spring trip.

By following these five easy tips from the makers of the MamaBear family tracking app, parents can make sure their children have a safe and successful spring trip.