Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Preparing For The Worst


In this day and age, many people feel that its smart to prepare for the worst. If their children become missing, they want to have every means possible to track down the child! There are products that have been created just for this purpose... ranging from simple booklets, to high-tech devices.

One of the most basic things parents can use so that, should the worst happen, authorities would have an easier time finding a child, is a Child Safety Kit. A Child Safety Kit usually contains a recent photo of the child, the child's fingerprints, dental records, and even the child's DNA information. Kits can be obtained for free from the Polly Klaass Foundation. You may also be able to obtain similar kits from your local police station. A slightly more detailed kit can be purchased here for about $5.00.

In addition to these detailed child ID kits, which are meant to be kept in a safe place in the home, some parents like to have a card that they can keep in their wallet or purse, with information about their child. One site that sells these cards for about $4.00 is YourSafeChild.com. A more colorful, customizable card can be ordered for about $8.00 at KidSafeID.com (These versions might be nice to order for your child to keep in his backpack or wallet in case the child gets lost. Kids sometimes forget their address or phone number, or even their parents' full names, when they are in a panic. Also, for children with special needs, or who are nonverbal, these cards can be nice for a child to have on him in case of an emergency!)

Ideitifying wristbands can also be bought or made, but many experts say that these wristbands are useless, except perhaps in place of a child ID card. If a child is abducted, the abductor will remove any visible identification from him, including his ID card or wristband. But one thing abductors rarely do is remove the child's shoes. Shoe labels can be bought from YourSafeChild.com The child's emergency information, and parents' contact info can be written on the waterproof and tamperproof label, which is put inside the shoe.

These things are all fairly simple... but what about more high tech devices? There are quite a few to choose from!

One of the more simpler devices, useful when taking smaller children on shopping trips or to other crowded places, is the Mommy I'm Here! Child Locator. A plastic teddybear alarm is securely attached to the child's shoe or belt. The parent has the other half of the device, which can be put on a keychain or attached to a purse, belt, etc. If a parent looks around and notices their child has wandered off and is not in sight, the parent simply pushes a button on his half of the device. The teddybear alarm on the child's shoe or belt begins to beep loudly, allowing the parent to follow the noise and find the child. And if the child is not in the parents' earshot, the loud chirping alarm will get the attention of others, who will hopefully be able to figure out that the child is lost and can help him. (An abductor is not likely to snatch a child whose shoe is beeping loudly, drawing attention to him!) This device can be purchased for about $30.00.

The ChildGuard Panda has a similar concept... both parent and child wear part of the device. But on this one, the child's device is constantly sending a silent signal to the parents' device. If the child starts to wander, the parents' device begins to beep, getting the parents' attention so they can grab their child before he gets out of sight!

A more complicated device is the ionKids Child Locator System, which sells for about $195. Like the ChildGuard Panda, a device attached to the child sends out an alarm to the parents' device when the child starts to wander away. But this particular device can also help the parent track down the child, using radio frequency signals!

If all that technology doesn't make you feel safe enough, you can even plant a GPS tracking device on your child! One such device is the ionKids Child Tracking Device. The child wears a device that goes around his wrist like a watch, and cannot be removed without a key. (The website says the device is "fun to wear", so maybe it is disguised to look like a wristwatch or something!) The underside of the device contains a GPS tracking device, so parents can use their own base device to locate their child. If someone tries to remove the device without a key, an alarm goes off on the parents' device. This device sells for about $200.

Brickhouse Security sells similar devices that can range from $399 to $799, depending on their features!

And if all else fails, parents may soon be able to have tiny tracking devices implanted into their children's bodies!

As you can see, there are many techniques meant to keep children safe from abductors. These can come in very useful... but remember, there's a fine line between being careful, and being paranoid. Being too vigilent about protecting your child can scare the child, who is probably not likely to actually get abducted. I'd recommend using one or two of these techniques... especially the Child Safety ID Kit... but don't go overboard. And find ways to discuss safety with your child, without making them too anxious. Child ID Inc offers some tips on talking to your kids, and kid-friendly pages like McGruff.org and this quiz can help you find out how much your child already knows!

Thanks for reading! Please come back tomorrow to learn more!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ion Kids is NOT GPS... The GPS Tracker on BrickHouseSecurity.com do look cool

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this information. I've been looking for something for my son and this gave me a starting point for my research.