Tech to keep track of your kids on Halloween

By Jennie Bragg, producer

NEW YORK ( -- Halloween is supposed to be fun, but it is also the one night every year that many parents allow their kids to wander the streets of town alone for an entire evening.

Instead of being a nervous nelly at home or the one parent tagging along with the kids while they trick or treat, check out some of the new technology that will allow you to track your children's whereabouts.

Phone applications

There are a few applications out there for your smartphone that allow you to keep track of the kids -- locating your children down to the square foot!

"Basically, the idea is that these phones all now have GPS-like capabilities," says John Abell, N.Y. bureau chief for "And these applications build on that. So the phone is telling everybody where it is. So you can convert that into a dot on a map or a text or a tweet."

The problem for many parents is that most kids, especially younger kids, don't have a smartphone.

"Even if your kid doesn't have a smartphone, many families have more than one, so one can be leant," recommends Abell.

If you have a single smartphone in the family, you are ready to start tracking.

The MobileMe app allows users to locate any phone attached to the account from a computer or another phone.

MobileMe is available for iPhone and Android at $149 a year for a family pack.

For AT&T users, the FamilyMap application does not require a smartphone.

This application, similar to MobileMe, reports out to any phone on their 3G network. The product costs $9.99 a month, but "you can get a 30-day trial which will encompass Halloween and then you can opt out," suggests John Abell. "Yeah, that's a little sleazy, but a trial is a trial."

If you are looking for a free application, consider GoogleLatitude.

This service for allows you to see your 'friends' as a dot on a map on your smartphone or laptop, so you can watch children as they move around town.

Another free option is TrickorTracker, but this application is only free up to Nov. 2. After that date it will be $9.99.

Using this app, parents can program their phone to receive text messages at regular intervals telling them exactly where their child is along his or her trick or treating route.

The app also has a flashlight feature that allows kids to travel more safely along dark sidewalks.

Your phone can be a mobile web cam

If you want to stay with your child at all times without really being there, ask your child to turn their phone into a mobile web camera and watch them from the comfort of your own home.

"Utilize the phone's forward-facing camera, stick that in a pocket, and you can see the point of view of the person with the camera as a web cam," explains Abell.

Services like Qik and uStream allow you to stream video straight from a smartphone to a web site, so your child will have you with them for their entire Halloween evening. Well, sort of.

Talkback: At what age do you think a child should be allowed to Trick or Trick unaccompanied by an adult, using one of the above technologies? To top of page

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