Today it seems that more children are being abducted than ever before. Maybe the numbers are not greater, but the awareness is improving. With that said, technology has stepped in to help with the fight to keep our children safe. We will talk about pool alarms, proximity devices and tracking devices.
Pool Safety Alarms
More than 900 children between 1 and 14 die each year in drowning accidents. In California, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children 1-4 years of age. Installing a reliable pool alarm can prevent some of these accidents. A pool alarm is inserted on the side of the pool and detects any movement in the pool. Any attempt to remove the device will activate the alarm so that even your older children will be protected. These can be purchased for $100 to $500.
Car Safety Alarms
There are two kinds of safety alarms for use on your automobile. The first is a proximity alarm which detects someone or something that should not be around the car. These can be purchased at your local automotive parts store. Secondly and becoming very popular even on less expensive cars is the rearview camera that has a screen on the dashboard to check behind your car before you back up.
Speaking of automotive, you may have or plan to have an automatic garage door opener. Make sure you obtain one with a sensor that will not let the garage door close it there is something under its path.
Child Proximity Alarm
Taking your child to a public place, such as a park, shopping mall or zoo can be a frightening and tiring experience for the parent. There are too many opportunities for the child to wander off or worse, be lured away by a stranger. A child proximity device, such as a Child Guard Panda or personal alarm, is a transmitter worn by the child as a pin or bracelet and a receiver worn by the parent. Both of these devices are discreet to the casual observer. The receiver can be tuned to sound an alarm when the child becomes a set distance from the parent, and if the child exceeds that distance the alarm goes off. Depending on the manufacturer the alarm will either be on the parent or child or both. This will alert the parent, who has momentarily lost concentration on the child’s location, or scare a potential abductor away.
Cell Phone Locators
When purchasing a cell phone for your child make sure it has a locator feature built-in and activated. With the locator enabled you can locate the child with several software programs available for your computer today. Also if the child dials 911 the police can track the location of the call. In addition there are special cell phones with locator and special dialing buttons installed. For a younger child the cell phone may not be an option.
Chip implants under the shin are used mainly for pets, not children. However there are chips that can be purchased the can be inserted into a bracelet, shoes or book bag, or some location a child abductor would not normally suspect. Again there are programs that come with the chip so you can track your child on your phone or computer.
One cold winter morning in 1993 10 year old Rebecca Savarese was walking to school through a busy intersection in Pittsfield, MA. A man suddenly jumped out and grabbed Rebecca trying to pull her into his truck. Rebecca fought back and escaped his grasp and left him holding her backpack. He dropped the backpack and casually got into his truck and drove away. In this busy intersection only one person noted and wrote down his license plate. Now before we rejoice and think how Rebecca was saved, let’s follow up in this story. The license plate led the police to Louis Lent’s home and his arrest. The police found hidden cages in his walls and discovered that he had murdered dozens of children.
This is a shocking story with a happy ending for Rebecca, but what if Rebecca had not gotten away and did not have a cell phone on her person? This leads to another alternative, one that will “turn the tide” in child abduction cases.
This GPS Trackers are so important and reliable for finding lost children and even adults that I personally feel every person born should be given one and maintain it their entire life. The GPS Tracker or child locator is a very small device that can be carried in an inconspicuous place on the body and will send a signal for 100 to 300 hours. Software can be put on your cell phone or computer that will alert the parent or guardian when the panic button is pressed or the battery charge becomes low. This GPS tracking device can be worn as a watch or other portion of clothing and some can be made non-removable, meaning if someone tampers with it or tries to remove it, it will send off a silent alarm to the parent or guardian. I keep mentioning guardian, as these GPS Trackers could be used on elderly or mentally challenged adults.
One big advantage is that GPS kid’s tracker can allow the children freedom to move from place to place without having to check in constantly. Older children or teenagers may feel you don’t trust them, so you really need to take time to explain why this is so important for their safety. Also the tracker should be checked regularly for proper operation and battery charge as the wearer will forget they have it on and subject it to daily wear.
The GPS Tracker requires a monthly service charge to a web based service for tracking and this is usually $20 to $50 a month. As the units become more popular this service fee will be reduced. A good and reliable GPS Tracker should cost from $175 to $400.
In conclusion it was reported on November 11, 2011, by the U. S Department of Justice that there were 797,500 children under the age of 18 missing nationwide in the US or 2,185 each day. Of these approximately 203,900 were family abductions meaning the child was related to the abductor. Approximately 58,200 were nonfamily abductions, but even though these were not immediate family members, they could be persons know by the Family. The national Center for Missing and Exploited Children defines “stereotypical kidnapping” as “someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently. ” Of these 797,500 children approximately 115 were classified as stereotypical kidnapping. This number seems small in comparison, but what if one of them, just one of 115, was your child?
Doug Harper is a former Marine, Drug and Transport Officer and Airline Pilot. Doug retired from the airlines in 2011 and opened Sharper Safety to sell video surveillance equipment and accessories. http://www.sharpersafety.com Sharper Defense was created to sell non-lethal defense products. http://www.sharperdefense.com .