|Updated: 10/31/2011 3:38 am
||Published: 10/30/2011 7:57 pm
Halloween is supposed to be a time for fun and games, but sometimes trick-or-treating can turn dangerous.
It's the same advice year after year. Kids need to stay in groups, only go to homes of friends and family, and wear light colored, reflective clothing. But now, the same tool used to makes calls and send emails is smart enough to track where kids are so parents can keep tabs on them from the living room.
For kids, Halloween night is all about the costumes and candy, but for parents like Mark Charette, it's about finding that balance between letting kids have fun and keeping them safe. "We watch them like a hawk. No unsupervised time. Too many bad things out there, and it's too easy to have access to things they're not supposed to."
Maggie Vanderhoof says she keeps a close watch on where her kids are and what they're doing. "We don't let them go far. We watch them go up to the houses."
Cell phones are a way to keep in touch. Verizon Wireless Public Relations Manager Ginger Daril says many phone applications track where kids are while parents are at home. "Family Locator is good because it allows you to track multiple family members at a time, and it's good for recurring events, like when your kids get to and from school, when their curfew kicks in, or one time events like Halloween."
Daril says parents can monitor kids right from their phone. "There's a safety net built in to Family Locator allowing only the user, the one who sets up the account, to track that family member, so the location of your child through their cell phone can't be compromised."
But Lt. Carl Minden with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says technology doesn't replace proper parenting. "Those are all great resources, but when you're going around a neighborhood you aren't familiar with, be aware. Only go to houses you know. We recommend not trick-or-treating door to door. Many communities have block parties for Halloween like churches and even the zoo. Those are safe events where law enforcement is present. Those are places you don't have to have your guard up quite as much."