One of parents' biggest nightmares is losing their children, whether in a busy mall or through abduction. Many look for ways to ensure they can find their children if they get separated. Other parents want a way to know when their teens arrive safely at their destinations and to ensure that they stay where they say they are going. Equipping shoes with GPS tracking devices is one way to help parents put their minds at ease. Prices generally range from $20 to $200, depending on the device and whether or not it comes with a pair of shoes.
Loc8tor offers several tracking device options, including mini-homing tags, to help you find your children if you get separated. Attach these small 5-gram tags to a child's shoelaces or remove the adhesive backing and stick one under the shoe's tongue. With a range of about 600 feet, these devices are best used in crowded areas where you might temporarily lose sight of your child.
Xplorer Smart GPS
GTX Corporation offers the Xplorer Smart GPS shoes, which have built-in GPS devices with cellphone and motion-detector capabilities. Parents can program the shoe devices to text them if their child travels more than a specified distance from a central location. The devices transmit their locations in real time, so parents can log on to the tracking site from anywhere and use Google Maps to see where the device is. These shoes are designed to be tracked nearly anywhere in the world.
Nike+IPod Sport Kit
Nike offers a small device you attach to your left shoe that sends signals to a receiver attached to your iPod. The intent is to help you track your steps, either walking or running. Users can upload data to the Nike+ website to keep a record of their workouts. However, the technology in these devices also let you track the locations of users, even when their iPods are turned off. There are several ways to detect the Nike+ sensor's signal, including a USB receiver on your computer, another iPod and a Google Maps app. The downside of this device is its low range; it only transmits about 60 feet.
In addition to trackers that can be added to kids' shoes, other GPS trackers offer more flexibility to parents so that children can be located when they are swimming, wearing sandals, or in case their shoes are lost in an abduction. BrickHouse offers a GPS tracking device that can be worn like a watch or attached to a child's clothes. The Amber Alert GPS is small enough to fit inconspicuously inside a pocket or purse -- even inside socks. Your child can activate the device himself in an emergency or you can activate it by sending a text message from your cellphone. It can also alert you if your teen driver exceeds a certain speed.