It can be terrifying to notice that your child has wondered off. Even the most attentive parents or caregivers can be distracted, if only for a split second. Being with your children in a public place, especially if it is crowded, can be nerve-racking. Airports, carnivals, amusement parks and shopping malls are a few places where children can easily become separated from parents. Luckily for adults, developments in child-locating technology allow parents to know the location of their children.
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Short-range devices are mainly used in places like outdoor parks or carnivals because their range of detection is limited. Most have ranges from 150 to 600 feet. These devices instantly give parents the general direction and distance of the child's whereabouts, whether by sound or following a monitor. Short-range child locators use batteries to operate, so it's a good idea to keep an extra set handy in case of an emergency.
Some short-range locators come in the form of keychains, like the Child Locator Personal Safety Alarm from My Precious Kid. The parent attaches the keychain to a keyring and the child puts the receiver in a concealed place, like a pocket. These receivers beep when the button on the keychain is pressed by the parents. Adults follow the beeping to find the child. Others, like the Child Locator by BrickHouse Security, look more like a cell phone, where a parent follows a child's direction on a monitor. These locators even have a panic button on the child's receiver that can be pressed in an emergency.
Long-range child locators require a monthly service fee. Using global positioning satellite, or GPS, technology, your child's location is determined via satellites in orbit. Parents can view a child's whereabouts anywhere there is an internet connection, whether from a work computer or cell phone, but parents need to wait for the internet to connect before receiving the information. These devices have a much broader range of detection, making them more expensive than short-range devices.
Many phone companies have child-locator applications that can be downloaded to personal cell phones. Verizon Wireless has a Family Locator app and the iPhone uses the LOCiMOBILE app. Family members can track each other using cell phones. The Amber Alert GPS 2G has the smallest GPS receiver on the market. As long as the child has the device, a simple call or text from a parent can produce a map of the child's location on the web.
Reasons to Have One
Child locators are not just for finding abducted children. There are many different reasons to invest in child-locator technology. Your teen may be out past curfew. Your son gets separated from you at a theme park. Your daughter is riding her bike through town with friends. Family members went separate ways in the mall. A natural disaster is keeping you from your family. In any scenario, you'll have peace of mind knowing where your family is using child-locator technology.
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