The day of costumes and candy are here again, which includes hordes of children going door to door for their candy treats. Younger children are almost always accompanied by parents or older siblings, but what can parents do to feel better about letting their children out on their own. Well, if your child owns an iphone, Android, Blackberry or Windows phone you’re in luck. On all of these smart phones there are GPS location apps that can help you keep track of your little trick or treaters.
One app I used personally when I went to a few conventions with friends was Google Latitude. Google Latitude allows you to friend people and give them permission to see your location on google maps (which you can turn off and on). With this app you can keep track of where your children are and actually have it give you live updates every couple of minutes. If you limit your children to a certain mile radius, this will make it easier to be sure they don’t stray too far, or be able to easily pick them up if they do stray far and need a drive home.
Another good app is cross platform on all smart phones, Lookout Mobile Security. this app needs to be downloaded on each phone. From there you can log online, or on your phones browser, and check the location of each device. It’s not nearly as slick or easy to use as Latitude, but it works for all phones, no matter which type of phone each family member has. This will also come in handy later if any of your kids, or yourself, loses a phone.
Any flashlight app, which turns any smartphone flash into a flashlight, is great to have as a backup, just incase the other flashlight runs out of batteries. It would be wise to tell your kids to text or call you as soon as that happens, as the flashlight apps usually burns the battery down very quickly. But at least it will help get them somewhere lit until you arrive.
Push to talk isn’t just for specific phones anymore, as any smart phone can get an app to do just that. A good idea may be to download such an app for all your kids and their friends. Some of those apps have group push to talk chats as well, which will allow you to keep tabs on them and update them on the time while they are out trick or treating. This is really helpful for the kids treat hunts, as some groups split up and find the best houses they can update their friends instantly to the few houses that offer regular size, or even king size, candy.
The most important thing about trick or treating is having fun. Find a great neighborhood with lots of kids, lots of parents and lots of light so everyone can relax and have fun. The world isn’t as scary as the 24 hour news will make you believe it is, but you never know. So be safe, and Happy Halloween from all of us here at TheBlueDot.net!
If none of your family, or yourself, have a smart phone, you can purchase one for as much as 50% cheaper at thebluedot.net, or trade in your old and used phone at thebluedot.net/tradein