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We all want our kids to get out and have the most fun this Halloween, and we don’t really want to have to helicopter parent them as they go door to door. But we’re also not about to take any chances with our kids’ safety.

So, this Halloween, we’re taking parenting to the digital realm, using the newest app technologies to keep watch over our kids as they fill their pillow cases with sugar. Here are five handy tools to consider, all of which are available for download in Canada.

Pumpic

Pumpic is a mobile monitoring app aimed directly at families. Use their software to keep an eye on your kiddos’ whereabouts, as well as their other cellular activities like calls, texts and online browsing. Important note: neither this, nor any other app on this list, is a substitute for proper communication. We all need to talk to our kids about the Internet. Pumpic is available for both Android and iOS, and will run you about about $115 a year.

ChildTrac

ChildTrac is a great solution for parents with children too young to be toting a smartphone around. Their GPS tracking app (and online function) works in combination with a little strap-on device that won’t be much fun at all for your kids to play with. It’s like a digital leash for your children. Perfect for big cities or busy streets and kids with a tendency to go “exploring” without telling anyone. The app works for iOS and Android and is free, but the gps device costs $210.

childtrac
ChildTrac

Life360

Life360 lets parents (ones living in North America, anyway) create neighbourhood maps and add “favourite” locations in said ‘hood. Each time your child arrives at a spot that you’ve programmed as a “favourite,” the app will let you know, and you can see their whereabouts on the map. You can also create boundary limits, and be notified if they go off track. The best part? Your offspring don’t have to do a single thing other than have the app installed on their phone (and carry it on their person). Plus, it’s free to download.

Canadian Red Cross

While the Canadian Red Cross app won’t track your kid, it will help them in case they get hurt during the tricking and treating. The free app provides you and your child (download it on both of your phones) with step-by-step information and videos on how to handle various first-aid situations from broken bones and asthma attacks to low blood sugar and more. You know, just in case Batman can’t see through his mask and trips and falls and hurts himself.

Getting ready for #Halloween? Stay safe and have fun with these tips. 1. Costumes should be light-coloured and flame resistant with reflective strips so that children are more easily seen at night. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!). 2. Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping. 3. Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover the eyes. 4. Explain to children that visits should be made along one side of the street first and then the other, and to cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks. 5. Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms. 6. Provide yourself or the children with a flashlight to see better and to be better seen. 7. Have children plan their route and share it with you and the family. 8. Trick or Treaters should travel in groups of four or five. Young children should be accompanied by an adult. 9. Make sure children know they should accept treats at the door and must not get into cars or enter the homes or apartments of strangers. 10. Remind children not to eat their treats and goodies until they are examined by an adult at home. Candy should not be eaten if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children. Happy Halloween! #parents #redcross #safety #trickortreat

A photo posted by Canadian Red Cross/Croix-Rouge (@redcrosscanada) on

Snapchat

There’s this little, ephemeral video sharing platform the kids are really into these days. It’s called Snapchat. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Okay, so you’ve definitely heard of it. But hear us out, if you don’t have Snapchat, now’s the time to get it. Or even if you do, now’s the time to get another profile. Just upload a fake profile and add your kid’s handle. Then you can watch his or her Story and know exactly what shenanigans they’re being all braggadocious about online. Does Mom have eyes in the back of her head? You’re damn straight she does, and in the back of her phone, too! Get The Snap (no, the kids aren’t calling it that, just us) for free on iOS and Android.

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