Every year, there's a new batch of kids who are getting themselves to school and letting themselves into their homes for the first time. As parents, we want to know that they've actually gotten there and they're getting there safely.
Whether it's an electronic back-seat driver to keep your teen in line on the road or an app your child can use to check in, technology can step in to help you stay in touch with your kids and watch over them without being overbearing.
One of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your child is to use a cellphone location service.
All four major carriers offer them. Sprint's Family Locator service will locate up to four phones for $5 per month. You can locate two people for $9.99 per month or five people for $14.99 with AT&T's Family Map service. T-Mobile's FamilyWhere service enables you to track up to 10 mobile devices for $9.99. And with Verizon Family Locator ($9.99 per month), you can set up location-based alerts so you know when your child gets home, in addition to locating anyone on your Family Share plan.
There's also a free solution. An App called Lookout which was originally intended to find a lost phone or stolen device, can be used for tracking children instead.
After downloading the app onto a phone, you can log onto to the Lookout website, click on the "missing device" tab and see where your child and their phone is on a map.
Lookout is available on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, iPhone and iPad.
Suzanne Kantra, USA Today