Keeping kids safe is a Sisyphean task; no sooner do you shepherd them through toddlerhood, then they’re flirting with danger as grade-schoolers, preteens and teenagers. You do your best to watch over them, but they know (and count on) that you don’t have eyes everywhere.
Until now. Thank you technology for developing child safety apps that can help keep your kids out of danger and, heavens forbid, notify you and police when the unthinkable happens. Here are apps that help protect your kids when you can’t.
1. FBI CHILD ID (Free; iPhone)
If the worst happens and your child disappears, the FBI now has an app that lets you store identifying information and easily e-mail it to authorities. Child ID app lets you store pictures and physical identifies, such as height and weight, and share them with security officers or police on the spot.
2. Sex Offender Search (Free: iOS)
This app uses up-to-date information from the National Sex Offender Registry to let you know where sex offenders live in your neighborhood. The app describes offenders and lists the charges against them. You also can register for a monthly update of new sex offender activity in your area.
3. Lassy Project (Free: iOS and Android)
Lassy Project lets you notify in seconds an entire community that your child is missing. Push one button and send a pre-AMBER alert via text message to a trusted group of family and friends to form an instant search. The alert includes pictures, last known location and other vital information about your child.
4. TeenSafe ($14.95/month; iOS and Android)
App allows parents to monitor their teen’s cellphone use without their child knowing it. The app shows texts, calls, Instagram posts, contacts and web browsing history. It also shows the phone’s location, so you know where your teenager really is.
5. Staying Safe and Safer Strangers – A Stranger Danger Social Story ($2.99; iOS)
It’s hard to describe stranger danger to young children without scaring and making them wary of all strangers. This “social story” app teaches children how to recognize “safer” strangers and ask for help. The app breaks down situations into simple steps and pictures, which is particularly helpful for children with developmental disabilities.
6. Safe-U (Free: iOS)
Safe-U helps deter predators and bullies by secretly and continuously recording and photographing threatening situations and instantly uploading evidence of wrongdoing. Parents and police have real-time access to proof that a child is in danger or has been harmed. The app also lets kids send emergency calls or notification to adults who can help.
7. Canary Teen Safety (Free: Android)
The Canary Teen Safety app notifies parents when their teens are engaging in risky behavior while driving including texting, calling, speeding, traveling into off-limit areas and breaking curfew.
Visit the Google Play and Apple App store if you’re interested in downloading or learning more about these apps.