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Tracking Children with GPS Technology: An Overview

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Kids & Teens
For parents, the desire to know exactly where children are at all times is both instinctive and pragmatic. GPS technology offers an exciting new means by which parents can ascertain their children's whereabouts at all times.

A deep seated concern for children is instinctive. It's the reason so many parents have spent late evenings pacing the floor waiting for a teenager to return home. And the cause of lingering concerns when a child is away.

The concerns also make a great deal of practical sense. Children are too often victimized in today's society, so the ability to check on a child's whereabouts at all times can be a great asset. And children, knowing that their whereabouts are being tracked, encourages them to behave properly.

GPS technologies offer a great means by which parents can determine where their children are at any given moment. Tracking via GPS makes the old question "Do you know where your children are?" easily answerable, rather then just being rhetorical.

GPS systems were developed by the government for intelligence and surveillance purposes. An array of satellites allows one to determine with amazing specificity the exact location of any person carrying a tracking device.

This seemingly futuristic gadgetry is readily available today, with new products featuring GPS tracking technology being developed regularly. Tracking devices can be as simple as wristwatches or cellular phones equipped with an appropriate chip. Other manufacturers are experimenting with plastic phone sleeves, necklaces, backpack tags and other possible chip carrying accessories.

These devices can be given to a child, making information regarding their whereabouts immediately available to their parents. Generally, parents are able to log in to a provider maintained website and can get the location information with only a few keystrokes.

These devices can be programmed to operate in any number of ways. Some will simply track locations of children. Others can be programmed to alert parents in cases when a child leaves established "safe zones". The different ways of using the tracking process can be customized to how much information you want, general vicinity vs. an almost exact location. Or anything in between.

Tracking children with GPS technology is an inviting proposition. Any parent who has experienced the fear of "losing" a child in a crowd, or who simply finds themselves worrying about a child's well-being during travel, will find relief in the ability of knowing their child's whereabouts at any time.

The tracking with GPS also allows parents to encourage positive behaviors. Children who know they can be tracked are far less likely to engage in irresponsible or forbidden acts. There's no guarantee that GPS tracking will stop a teen from involving themselves in an ill advised "road trip", but it does give kids a potent reason to think twice before acting.

As new products become available and competition continues to force the price of GPS child tracking systems down, there is no doubt that use of GPS will skyrocket. This satellite technology offers parents a very effective means of enhancing child safety.