In our high-tech times it seems as though technology is available to do almost anything, including keep children safe when you can not be with them. Though debate still rages about whether so called child-tracking or child-monitoring devices are a good thing or too invasive, some research suggests that up to 75% of British parents would invest in a device to trace their child’s movements in order to better protect them from injury or The Threat Of Abduction. Today, there are indeed several such child protection devices on the market for parents wishing to track their children when they must be away.
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Many parents like the idea of a wristband or watchband that, when their child is wearing it, will allow them to track their child’s whereabouts. With radio frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in the bands, parents are able to log on to the Internet to follow their child’s movements, and some technologies even allow parents to receive text messages updating them when their child moves location. While there is usually more technology available in the world than is sold in the UK, a quick Internet search should be able to turn up what is available.
While the debate rages on whether Mobile Phones Are Safe For Children, many parents recognise that phones can serve a dual purpose as a child protection device. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) software or SatNav (satellite navigation) systems, these phones are able to pinpoint the bearer’s exact location within just a couple of hundred metres, as long as the device is on. If the phone has been switched off, many systems will be able to pinpoint the location of the phone when it was last on or ‘live’.
Even if they are with their child, many parents still fear that something could still threaten their child’s safety if they look away for even a split second. Child abduction alarms are small devices that can be hidden in children’s clothing and activated if a child feels threatened. With sirens up to 125 decibels, these alarms can be heard inside buildings even if the child is outside somewhere nearby.
Though a variety of child protection devices do exist, detractors argue that these devices may, in fact, make children more vulnerable to abduction because they lull both parent and child into a false sense of security. If you are considering investing in a child protection device, remember that these technologies only work if they are turned on and in the possession of your child. For as much extra protection as they can offer, these devices should not take the place of common safety sense such as warning your child to never:
- Talk to or approach strangers.
- Accept gifts or treats from strangers.
- Tell their name to strangers unless introduced by a parent.
- Leave the house or change location without parental permission.
In theory, child protection devices are a good, if controversial, method of keeping your child safe when you can not be with him/her. Don’t let these devices lull you into a false sense of security though. Just remember that they are only valuable when used in addition to the good safety sense that you must instil in your child. Without this basis, no device in the world will be able to keep your child safe and protected.