Michiana parents talk about possibly tracking their kids - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana parents talk about possibly tracking their kids


The news out of Cleveland, where three missing girls were found in captivity after 10 years, has sparked a national discussion about what people can do to track their kids.

There are several options out there using everything from GPS to radio frequencies to pinpoint a child's location.

"Our kids are not able to play outside the way I was able to play outside when I was growing up," said Elkhart mother Crystal Bradley, while shopping with her son.

Bradley says she has heard too much about kids who have gone missing over the last few years, so she's decided it might be time to get her son a cell phone. She says then she could download cell phone applications that could help her find her son if he gets lost.

"I would be able to find him and I would know his whereabouts at all times," said Bradley.

Other parents are not as keen to the idea of giving their kid a phone with GPS. They say they would not want their kids to feel like they were constantly being monitored.

"I grew up with privacy myself and it's kind of a confidential thing," said Cindra Sharkley, while holding her baby daughter.

Cell phone tracking is not the only option out there. Some parents have already equipped their special needs children with tracking bracelets that can help find them if they wander away.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department says this technology worked for them before.

"Without the technology it would've taken hours or maybe even days to find [a girl with special needs]," said Captain Jim Bradberry, Elkhart Co. Sheriff's Office. "But within minutes we were able to find her. She got home safe and everybody was pretty happy."

The bracelet technology is also used with a lot of Alzheimer's and dementia patients. On top of that, there are also special GPS shoes these patients can wear to help track them down if they wander off accidentally.

"Basically you can set a zone called a geo-zone of how you would want somebody to stay in a certain perimeter and if they wander beyond that, the shoes would emit a signal," said Barbara Dzkowski, Alzheimer's & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana.

Dzkowski says unfortunately these shoes are not made in children's sizes, but some parents say if they were they would consider buying them.

However, those same parents also say the fact that they have to even considering buying their kids GPS shoes, so you do not lose them, is terrifying.

"It most definitely does concern me," said DeCarlo Redding, a father of two young girls. "It's pretty scary, but that's why you try to guide your kids in the right direction."

The tracking bracelets, like those used for local Alzheimer's, dementia, down syndrome, and autism, are not available for the general public. There are similar options to the bracelets that can purchased at various websites though.

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