What parent has had that moment of fright when the child who was just at your side is gone? Usually the child has seen something of interest and just gone to investigate, or has gotten separated in a crowd, such as being at a carnival, and although it may only two seconds to locate your child, it feels like two years and when you do find them your heart is racing, your hands are shaking and you don’t know whether to hug them or scold them.The possibility of someone taking our child is a real fear every parent carries with them. Just pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news and reports of children being kidnapped or abducted are constant and the heartbreak of the parents is just so overwhelming. Now what if there was a technology that could find that child instantly?GPS technology is now being used to help keep track of children and allow parents to know where their child is at all times. These devices are usually small enough to fit anywhere-backpack, pants or coat pocket, etc. and lightweight enough not to be burdensome. Some of these have pre-programmable buttons so the child can keep in touch with their parents or call for help if necessary.These devices range from tracking devices that will beep until the child is found, to cell phones with GPS technology installed, to watches that if forcibly removed will automatically activate. There are even backpacks available with GPS technology installed. Some of these will activate if the child is too far away from the parent. And there is even one that is implanted in a shoe.Of course the main problems with these are the child is going to lose them, or if the child is abducted they can easily be disposed of. I can envision the day when it will be possible to have a GPS transmitter implanted in a child via an injection or some other simple manner.There are other concerns also. Are only children with parents who can afford this technology are going to benefit. Is this going to increase the number of lower class children, whose parents can’t afford this new technology, being abducted? Will someone, such as a child molester or kidnapper, find a way to use a child’s transmitter signal to locate the child? Also how are our children to adjust to the fact that they are constantly being monitored?How secure are our children going to feel knowing that the world is so dangerous that their parents need to know where they are at all times? Are we stripping a part of their childhood away from them? Who doesn’t remember, as a kid, going somewhere you knew your parents didn’t want you to go, but as children we are adventurers, and if we got into trouble or got ‘caught’ being where we shouldn’t be, we more than likely not only got punished but also learned a lesson. We grow and mature by making mistakes and learning from them, are we going to take part of this education away from our children? At what age do we stop? Do we continue to monitor them through their teen-age years? A time that can be the hardest time of any child’s or parents life, it’s a time where a teenager needs to mature and a parent needs to learn to ‘let go’ and allow the child to learn on their own-mistakes and all.Although this technology has some very great qualities in the protection of our children, the possibility of abusing this technology must also be addressed. We all want our children to be safe, yet at the same time they must be allowed to grow to become functional adults.Copyright 2006 Angela Carter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *