Two reported incidents since the start of school on Monday have some parents on edge and asking what they can do to keep their kids safe.
In addition to having the typical “stranger danger” discussions with your kids, new technology is available to help keep track of their whereabouts.
There are apps you can download right to your cell phone that could help in those situations. They can help keep your child safe and give you some peace of mind, all with the touch of a button.
Leticia, who requested that 8 News Now not use her last name, is a mother of two. While she trusts her kids to be careful around strangers, she still gets worried.
“Whenever we’re not together, even in the mall or parks, absolutely it’s a concern,” she said.
Leticia uses the Find My iPhone function to make sure her kids are safe. But she’s thinking of downloading apps that are specifically made for that purpose.
“I’ve heard about maybe Life360, but I haven’t used it yet,” she said.
Life360 lets you know when your child reaches their destination. For example, when they get to school. It also sends alerts with a location if your child needs help.
The Kidgy app allows you to mark safe zones on a virtual map, and you’ll be notified if your child leaves that area. There’s also a panic button for emergency situations.
“I like that, I didn’t realize there was a panic button feature on there, so that’s something I would definitely look into,” Leticia said.
“I have them for my children and I know it’s out there and I know it works,” said Margarita Edwards, executive director, Nevada Child Seekers.
She is the executive director of Nevada Child Seekers, a group dedicated to finding missing children. She says giving your kids safety advice is a good first step to avoid abductions. She adds, these apps can have a big benefit.
“I think it empowers our kids, that they don’t feel helpless, that they know that there is something that is a tap away, a click away that will activate.”
While some parents say children can easily misuse apps and cell phones, Leticia says it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“If a child’s unsure and they don’t feel safe, I mean they should use it.”
There are also special GPS devices parents can get that are not linked to smartphones.
If you do download the apps, the good news is most of them are free. Some of them have more advanced features, which do have a cost.
Reporter Orko Manna demonstrates how to use the app. Life360.