Monday, April 11, 2011

Tracking Every Baby, Child, and Teenager

Would you implant a GPS enabled microchip into your kid if it were available?

My husband thinks that by the time our kids are teens, this will be readily available.  We agreed that we would jump on the chance to track our kids. He mentioned this to a friend today and the friend said he wouldn't do it.  And then they wondered whose opinion was the more popular one..and a post was born. 

In fact, while talking about it last night, we joked that it would be cool if they would have sensors that went off if your kid was about to have sex, do drugs, or anything illegal.  

Imagine it- you are sitting in a meeting and you get a text that warns you your child has just begun engaging in something questionable.  You step out of your meeting and make that lovely phone call that stops your child from doing something they will one day regret.  Okay, okay...that isn't really what this is about, but it had me chuckling at the prospect.  

Stepping back to the real world, implanting a GPS tracking device in kids isn't a completely absurd idea.

There is a company that has received FDA clearance for an implantable microchip, but hasn't produced/sold anything yet (at least not that I can tell).  This is the same type of chip that gets implanted into dogs (so no tracking of the animal, just identification).  The main reason that they aren't available seems to be due to an increase chance of malignant tumors near the injection site.  Yeah, they have to fix that first.

There was a watch on the market that did a great job tracking called the Brickhouse Alert Mobile GPS Watch.  If you can't implant a tracking device, this may be the next best thing.  Not only does it track your child, but your child could send a distress alarm, use the built-in speakerphone to contact emergency services or family members, and it sends alerts to you if your child leaves the customized "safety zone".  Sounds great, right?  Unfortunately, it has been discontinued.  I am not sure why, but the $40 monthly fee probably had something to do with it.

Of course, there is always GPS tracking with the cell phone.  There are multiple free applications out there for all the different phones.  I haven't tried any of these, but briefly looked at the descriptions for the ones on the Android phone.  I like that some of them do more than just tracking, but I won't go off on that tangent today.

Certainly the watch and cellphone tracking devices/applications aren't perfect.  It is easy enough for an abductor to remove the watch or toss the cell phone.  So that brings us back to implantable tracking devices.

If someone was able to create a non-cancer causing device that allowed you to know where your child was at all times, would you do it?  How would cost factor into this decision?  Would you pay a monthly fee (like the watch) to have this information?

So it is time for you to weigh in on this.  First vote below, then leave a comment telling us why you chose the way you did and any other thoughts for the rest of us to consider.  I can't wait to see what you all think!
If it were safe, would you implant a GPS tracking device into your child?

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