DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – GPS technology can help you find a restaurant near you, get you directions, and even tell you where you parked your car. But now GPS technology can help you find your child.
Reese is a cautiously curious 8-year old kid, but several years ago while inside a Dallas area department store, Reese disappeared. “He was gone, just in a blink,” his mother, Heather Williams said. “I don’t know how he got out. I still don’t know how he got out of the store without us seeing him.”
Reese was found wandering the shopping mall unharmed, but his mom shudders to think about what could’ve happened. “You hear stories all the time [that] they’re gone in a heartbeat, and I was just terrified that someone had taken him,” Williams said.
After what happened in the store, Williams tried different things to help keep track of Reese, but says she never felt completely comfortable with any of them. Then more advanced GPS technology emerged and she decided to test a device called SecuraTrac which uses GPS signals to track your child, pet, or even an elderly family member.
“When Reese went missing, I would’ve given anything to pull out my cell phone and go okay he’s right here in the mall, I know where he is, let’s go get him,” Williams said.
The SecuraPAL device is about the size of a garage door opener and fits in your child’s pocket, bag, or on a belt. Once turned on, the device connects to a satellite and transmits a child’s location to the SecuraTrac website. On the website, parents can set up fences around any location. They’ll get an email and text alert when the child enters and leaves that area.
“If you’re ever lost, you would push a button, and it’ll tell me where you are,” Williams said, as she explained the device to her son.
The device is also equipped with an SOS button that the child can push if he or she ever feels in danger. When pushed, the device instantly transmits the location to the parent’s cell phone as an urgent alert. “If I ever get lost, then all I’m gonna do is push this,” Reese said.
The Williams family took the SecuraTrac system with them on a vacation to Florida last month.
“We go to Disney World all the time, and so that was one of my biggest fears- him getting lost there because it’s huge and there are so many distractions,” Williams said.
And, while they still kept a close eye on Reese, Williams said she did feel more at ease knowing someone else was also keeping track of him. “It did make me feel good to know that if he did get lost, I could pull it up on my phone and see exactly where he was,” she said.
Williams had only one criticism of the system – she says the battery has to be charged every night.