Last year I talked to you about keeping Halloween fun and safe and shared a few apps to help do just that. This year I have a few smartphone tricks for Halloween Safety that can help keep older kids safe while they are out trekking for treats on Halloween night.
Whether your kids are ready to venture out on their own, or you are just not quite ready to let them take that leap yet, you can use any of these apps to help make your Halloween a memorable, and safe, experience.
Mobile Devices as Halloween Hubs for Safety
How to Take Advantage of Built-In Functions on Smartphones for Halloween Safety
Parents who want to keep track of older kids headed out without them can do so by using the Find My Friends app. This app comes pre-installed on iPhones and is available for download on Android devices through Google Play.
You can set features to show the location of devices so a child’s whereabouts can be identified at all times. Since safety is 62% of parent’s reason for getting their child their first phone, this app can be very useful (according to a U.S. Cellular survey). My husband has it on his iPhone and I installed it on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
ICE – In Case Of Emergency
We all hope and pray that nothing happens, and hopefully, it never will, but in case the rare emergency does occur, you can pre-load pertinent info to allow concerned individuals access to certain features – even on locked phones.
- iPhones include a built-in emergency feature located in the lower left-hand corner of locked password screens, which allows users to make emergency calls, even when the phone remains locked.
- iPhones also give users the opportunity to set up “Medical ID” information allowing friends, first-responders or even concerned bystanders to gain access to potentially life-saving information if needed, right from the emergency screen.
- To set up this built-in “Medical ID” feature:
- Select the pre-installed Health application
- Click on Medical ID in the lower right corner
- Make sure the “Show When Locked” option is turned on
- Add name, date of birth, and information as it relates to medical conditions, allergies, and reactions, and medications
- Add emergency contacts and personal information that would be useful in case of an emergency.
While this built-in feature isn’t currently available for Androids, there is a helpful alternative. Android users can include their name and emergency contact information on their locked screens by going into their settings, selecting security and then updating owner information.
Set A Series Of Reminders
Amid the excitement of trick-or-treating or Halloween parties, it’s easy for kids to lose track of time. My son loses track of time while at his friends’ houses, so I know when he’s out trick-or-treating he may not think to check the time.
To avoid worrying, use the clock feature to pre-set a series of different alarms on a child’s phone to remind them periodically to check in and to ensure they don’t cut it too close when it comes to curfew.
Store Recent Shots
Plenty of pictures are taken of kids in their costumes so they can be shared with loved ones and on social media channels, but it’s critical to have current photos stored and readily available should a problem arise.
In addition to having a current photo of each child in regular clothing, before heading out on Halloween night, also take and store individual shots of children in their costumes so you have a current photo of your what your child looks like should others need to help you search.
If they are wearing masks or anything else that covers all or a portion of their faces, make sure to get photos of them with and without the masks on.
Boost Batteries to Keep In Contact
If you think your child will be using their phone more than usual, consider sending along a portable charger like the PureGear PureJuice Portable Charger. Certain apps drain batteries quickly, so this may be important to have in order to stay in contact with your child.
These external batteries are lightweight and easy to plug into devices via USB cables. Kids can toss them in the trick-or-treating buckets, allowing them to recharge a phone’s battery easily.
If you prefer an all-in-one option, consider a cell phone case with a built-in charger. The Mophie Juice Pack is a great option to extend your battery life.
While you may not have considered it before, Halloween safety is something that parents should think about this day in age. You never know when something could go wrong, and while it is important to start trusting your kids to venture out on their own, it is also wise to put limits in place to ensure they are safe!
Be sure to download this FREE Parent/Child Agreement from U.S. Cellular before handing over your child’s first smartphone, discuss the limits that will be in place, and then have each family member sign it.
What do you do to ensure your kids are safe?
Do you have any Halloween Safety tips?