A Tracking Device for Children

Written by erin schreiner Google
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A Tracking Device for Children
Keep track of your child, no matter where she roams. (happy school girl image by Julia Britvich from Fotolia.com)

A child is reported kidnapped in the United States every 40 seconds. While many of these incidents result in the child's eventual recovery, the process is taxing on the parents and a financial burden on local emergency systems. In an attempt to reduce these numbers, some are arguing for the use of child tracking devices. These devices can monitor a child's movement, and allow for easy recovery if the child is lost or abducted.

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Function

Child GPS locators allow parents to monitor not only where their child is, but also where he has been. While the specifics vary depending upon the system used, almost all allow parents to log on to a website and receive a digital map of the child's day. This map can be used by parents both as a way of checking the child's honesty, and as a means by which to ensure the child's security.

Benefits

The benefit of a system of this type depends greatly upon your child's age and personality. Parents of young children appreciate the systems because they allow them to quickly locate a child who has wandered off, or expediently recover a child who is the victim of abduction. Parents of older children value having the opportunity to monitor their teen and make sure that he is being honest with them.

Types

There are an array of child tracking options available from which parents can select. The Whereify brand is targeted towards children between the ages of 4 and 12. This device, like many others, looks like a simple wrist watch. By logging on to the Whereify website, parents can track their child and, in some cases, even receive real-time satellite pictures. The watch can be used to call 911, and cannot be removed without a key fob. The Amber Alert GPS is another popular option. This GPS allows parents the added benefit of programming preferences so they can, for example, have an alert sent if their child exceeds the speed limit. This system, like many others, allows parents to monitor the child online whenever the parent chooses.

Considerations

Those who argue against this type of system cite privacy violations and contend that technology of this type takes us farther down the slippery slope of developing an Orwellian society complete with an always-watching Big Brother. Young children will likely not mind this kind of monitoring and, in many cases, may even enjoy the gizmo. Teens on the other hand may feel that their privacy is being invaded and may go to great lengths to usurp the system. Consider your child and his feelings towards the technology when deciding whether the tool is useful for you.

Misconceptions

When many people think of locating devices, they picture small microchips embedded in an individual's skin. None of the child tracker companies currently on the market offer a system that includes an implantable tracker. All of the systems are removable, and many look like innocuous wrist watches. While Home Again, and other companies, offer implants for pet location, this technology does not, or at least has not yet, extended to children.

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