5 Ways to Keep Your Children Safe During Halloween Using Technology
By this time, kids are probably giddy with excitement about going trick-or-treating, and the adults want to show off their spooky decorations. But let’s face it, Halloween is more than just a cool-looking house (although of course that matters). When it comes to the safety of their kids, no parent wants to be left behind. Thankfully, things are not as when we were kids and depended entirely on adult supervision; yes, that is still very important, but we get the help of many technological advancements that have sprung up and been perfected over the years, such as location tracking apps, emergency buttons, and LED bracelets.
We have a list of recommended safety measures all based around technology. The great thing is that most of them can be boosted when you include other neighborhood parents in your plans, so instead of a lone adult trying to make your kid (and yourself) feel safer during one of the most crowded nights of the year, you can create a whole network of reasonably concerned parents.
Here are our tips for a safe and safety Halloween!
1. Program the In Case of Emergency numbers into your child’s speed dial
If you’re not going to be with your child while they are trick-or-treating, make sure to pre-program their emergency numbers into their phone’s speed dial, such as your own number and the police station. You can also add the phone of a trusted neighbor or relative that lives nearby. If you have younger kids, teach them how to call 911 and give the operator their location and describe situations calmly.
2. Use the Red Panic Button app
This nifty app is for a little bit of extra peace of mind for concerned parents. Trick-or-treating kids can press the big red button in the app the automatically send their exact coordinates on Google Maps via text message to their family members. It can also connect to their social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. There are a few other functionalities, but the free version of this app offers the ones that we described above.
3. Tracking & Route Mapping
If you don’t want to run any risks (and why would you?) then you probably want to keep track of your child at all times. GPS tracking technology has been around for the longest time now, so it’s particularly easy to know where your child is and to plan a route ahead for them. For most people, it should be as easy as creating a specific route in Google Maps for your children to follow, and then have them share their location live with you through the app (select the option “Until you turn this off”) and now you can follow their steps until they return home! For cross-platform location sharing, use Life360.
4. Put reflectors on their costumes
Not all technology-related safety measures come from a smartphone. Reflectors have shown time and again that they really make a difference when it comes to preventing traffic accidents with pedestrians at night. Chances are that your child’s costume is all about being seen from the front, so stick as many reflecting strips as you can on the back so they can be seen by any and all drivers out at night. You can also include LED bracelets as they make children more viewable from all angles at night, even from a distance.
5. Organize your neighborhood on Nextdoor
Everyone has Facebook, of course, but there is also a private social network designed with neighborhood and community organizations in mind. Nextdoor is a service that connects you to your neighbors in a sort of neighborhood watch with bulleting boards, public announcements, and more. They also offer a Halloween Treat Map, where neighbors that will be offering candy are marked with a little sign so you can better plan your route and coordinate with other parents to keep all the children under watch at all times. There are many more options, of course, so it’s good even after Halloween.
These tips will help you maintain Halloween safety on and off the road, especially if you organize yourself with other parents around the neighborhood. This will give you more peace of mind than if you just stacked safety measures all over your children. Still, with all of these apps and gadgets, remember that the most important part is the supervision of an adult, so if you can’t be present during trick-or-treating, pass along these tips to the parents that will be taking care of the group. Strength in numbers, people!