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5 apps to help keep trick-or-treaters safe

Halloween is right around the corner and you know what that means. Kids are gearing up for one of their favorite events of the year: Trick-or-treating.

If they are a bit older, they’re probably hoping for a little independence. This year, they might want to go trick-or-treating with their friends without supervision.

As a parent, you’re going to worry about their safety. What happens if they need to contact you? Or if you need to know exactly where they are? Here are five apps built for just these kinds of scenarios that can track their location and keep you updated in real-time.

1. Life360 – Family Locator, GPS tracker

The Life360 app is free and works on both Apple and Android gadgets. It comes loaded with great trick-or-treating features like geofencing and real-time directions.

Stay connected and in sync with your entire family — and eliminate the multiple texts it would otherwise take to coordinate family events and daily life. The app will alert you when family members have checked in at a location, thanks to GPS sensors in your phone. It can also let you know if someone is running late.

Here are a few other features we like:

  • Real-time directions: If you need to pick up your kids, the app will direct you right to your children. No typing addresses into maps or trying to figure out exactly where they are.
  • Geofencing: You can set up a location that’s safe for your kids to trick-or-treat. Your phone will automatically be notified if your kids exit this zone.
  • Panic button: If your kids need help, they can send a message to a few different people with a single button.

Tap or click here to download the free Life360 app for iOS. For Android, click or tap here.

2. MamaBear family safety

The MamaBear app was designed to give you peace of mind as a parent. This app is good not just for Halloween activities, but for every other occasion throughout the year.

It features a 24/7 Family Newsfeed and Family Map, which displays your child’s social media activity, constant physical location, customizable Safe Place arrival and departure notifications, Panic Button alerts and more.

Tap or click here to download the free MamaBear app for iOS. For Android, click or tap here.

3. Find My Kids – Footprints

The Footprints app shows detailed, aerial maps of houses to let you see exactly where your kids are. Its main perk is the detail it brings to those maps, which can be great in a situation where you are trying to navigate a neighborhood.

Footprints is great for the detail, but it lacks the geofencing of FamiSafe and Life360. It also only works on Apple devices, so if you have an Android, it’s already the wrong app for you; however, it does offer:

  • Speed alerts: You can see exactly how fast your kids are moving.
  • Detailed map: You get a birds-eye view of the neighborhood, not just street names and lines.
  • Exclusivity: Footprints only works on Apple devices and there is a subscription fee after the initial free period.

This free app is only available for Apple devices. Tap or click here to download for iOS.

4. FamiSafe – Parental Control

The FamiSafe app offers more features than even Life360 does, with the option to monitor screen time and app usage. Like Life360, it offers the wonderful trick-or-treat ready feature: geofencing.

  • Geofencing: Set up a safe location for your child to trick-or-treat by designating an area on a map. Get notified immediately if he or she leaves the area.
  • Cost: Subscription fee of $10 a month.
  • Additional features: Monitor screen time, app usage and restrict certain online content.

The FamiSafe app is free to download and use for three days. After the free trial, it costs $9.99 per month.

Tap or click here to download FamiSafe for iOS. For Android, click or tap here.

5. Google Maps

Did you know Google Maps has a tracking feature? It does. Google Maps is packed with features many people don’t even know exist. Tap or click here to learn about 3 recent additions you’ll use all the time.

To track your kids on Halloween, simply go on their phones under Google Maps, tap the blue dot and choose “share location.” Then select “until I turn it off.” It works on both Android and iPhone.

If you stick with Google Maps:

  • Familiarity: You don’t have to teach your children to use an app they’re unfamiliar with, and you don’t have to use an app you’re unfamiliar with either.
  • Fewer features: You won’t get geofencing.

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