Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Keeping Your Child Safe This Halloween

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

One aspect  of safety that is on everyone's mind this month is Halloween.  That means Trick or Treat for younger kids!  I remember how fun it was when I was growing up even if I never got any chocolate treats.  Everyone gave out hard candies because there were so many trick or treaters.  But it was fun to go door to door asking for candy.  For older kids this month means Halloween parties -- and sometimes mischief, but hopefully less mischief than my friends got into when we were growing up because now with cell phones you can check in on your children easier than our parents could -- especially since 47% of parents have a child with a cell phone and the average age for the first cell phone is 12.

Here's some simple hints for helping to ensure safety this Halloween using a Smart Phone:

Set up reminders on your child's phone for them to call you and check in!

The Family Locator app allows you to see where your child is in real time and alerts you if your child goes out of the area you designated as a safe area for them.

Program your number into your child's ICE (In Case of Emergency) number.

Install an app like Red Panic Button.  In an emergency,  a press of the button sends an SMS and email that contains a link to Google Maps and their GPS coordinates to everyone in the panic contact list

FBI Child ID is a great way to store information about your children in case they go missing.   I have a friend who has a non-verbal son and my friend takes a photo of him every morning before they leave the house because he will have a photo showing what his boy was wearing in case they get separated.  This app uses this concept but also allows you to store vital information about your child.

While not a safety app, an app my husband and I have gotten some laughs out of is one called Ghost Radar.  It supposedly picks up on spirit activity and calls out words.   It's so random and if I have my iPhone and iPod set up in the same room it won't get the same readings, so I don't believe it works, but I can see a group of tween girls having a lot of fun with this at a Halloween party.  Even as teenagers my friends and I would have loved it.  We used to go "ghost hunting" in the woods behind where my grandmother lived, and this would have been a blast to add to our ghost detecting paraphernalia.  

While it's not always the first thing you think of, your cell phone can be a great tool to help keep your children safe!  I hope you all get lots of chocolate in your trick or treat bucket!  (Don't forget to teach your child about "income tax" so you can get some of their candy.  Just joking.  I think!)  

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