Our world has become digital, and people of all ages and abilities are using smartphones for communication, entertainment, and guidance. It is critical to add safety apps to this list in every child’s smartphone or tablet. This applies to those with special needs, too, since mobile apps can function as assistive technology that provide guidance in multiple scenarios.
While we want to guard children and those with disabilities from the dangers posed by the internet, they can also benefit from apps that help caregivers locate them if they get lost, or apps that teach them how to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. Apps that provide safety training for children are critical for learning and understanding the steps to follow in unexpected situations.
There are very few apps that provide fire safety for children, and that’s where we at FireGuide come in. FireGuide is a personal fire safety-training app that prepares children and those with disabilities to get out of the house quickly by using a trusted person’s voice to guide them to safety.
Here’s short description of FireGuide, as well as 4 other helpful safety apps:
FireGuide is designed to make fire drills a household habit without the hassle.
The FireGuide app walks your child through a fire drill using instructions that you record in your own voice.
To make it easy for you, drills can be run without your oversight. Once you record the instructions for each child, FireGuide takes over. It schedules your fire drills that guide the child to safety in your calming voice. After the initial setup, you can fine tune the instructions and the frequency of drills for each child.
FireGuide’s repetitive fire drills training, complemented by your calming instructions and positive feedback, work in tandem to engage and train the child or person with the disability. As documented in research, this drill training repetition and automaticity creates a level of confidence and competence that takes the crisis out of the emergency.
FireGuide also gathers feedback from your child for you to improve your instructions, tracks his or her performance (and improvement!) and encourages your child with gamification and positive feedback.
The new and improved Fire Guide app is coming in January 2020!
Life360 Family Locator is another safety app that can be downloaded from Google Play and iOS. This app uses GPS data to track the location of your kids so that you can keep tabs on them in crowded areas or at big events. Since kids typically keep their devices on hand or on their person, Life360 makes it easy to know their whereabouts without having to keep them in your line of vision round-the-clock.
This location tracking app keeps families connected at all times, and it has a messenger and group chat feature so you can communicate with everyone to make sure that, wherever they are, they are okay!
Distracted driving is an all-too-common problem, The TrueMotion Family Safe Driving is an app for parents of teenagers who have their own driver's license. This can be a tense and frightening time for parents, given the challenges new drivers face.
With this app, you can track your teens on the road, see if your teen is driving responsibly (if they are texting while driving, speeding, having car trouble, etc.), and engage the whole family in better driving habits as a whole.
The cyber world, like the old wild west, has plenty of dangers and suspicious characters lurking online. Parents and caregivers often feel a sense of reassurance when they are able to monitor the online activity of their kids and other vulnerable people, such as older adults, or people with disabilities. Kaspersky is an elite cybersecurity company that provides an all-in-one tracking and controlling tool for smartphones or tablets that is very reliable.
This software is easy to install on a child’s mobile device, and parents are able to set controls to regulate apps and sites from a main dashboard, protecting kids from inappropriate websites or content. Parents can also set an online screen time allowance for kids, setting healthy limits that curb technology overuse.
Using SafeKids, parents are notified in real-time if kids attempt to access prohibited sites or if they are spending too much time on their devices. Step-by-step set-up instructions are provided through the Kaspersky software. Kaspersky SafeKids can be downloaded from Google Play or iOS.
In addition to FireGuide and the other apps, Bark is an important safety app for parents and caregivers. This app detects potential threat and signs of harmful content such as sexting, cyberbullying, mentions of suicide, or the use of drugs on children’s devices and social media accounts. This way, parents and caregivers can immediately intervene when notified about any of these threats without being overly invasive.
Bark not only covers chats through text or social media but it also covers discussions in email threads as well.
The app saves you from manually monitoring your child's activities, respecting your time and your child's privacy by only flagging potential concerns. It also opens up conversations about netiquette, digital dangers and sensitive online issues.
The safety of children and other vulnerable people is critical to us all. Technology can be a wonderful tool to help parents and caregivers keep themselves and their charges safe.
We hope you find this list helpful. If you know of other apps or tools you’d like to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.