Apps help track relatives, kids behind the wheel - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Apps help track relatives, kids behind the wheel

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

New apps make it easier to keep an eye on your kids, not just revealing their location but also telling you if they're in danger, breaking curfew, texting behind the wheel or even speeding.

The average age when most children get their first smartphone is just before they turn 14 years old. Parents are now using phones as a virtual leash, or at least a secondary way to monitor their kids, when they're out of sight.

"I think it's very important to know where your kids are," said Chesterfield mother Cynthia Hill. "I mean, I know where mine are at all times and if I don't they know when they're in trouble."

More than 25 million people are using Life360 to keep tabs on family members. Think of it as a family's own social network. You can check out where everyone is, trade messages and with a quick click, you can let your family know if you're in trouble.

"It's good just to have your pulse on them a little bit," said Henrico father Troy Kyzer who uses Life360 to track his family and likes the features.

Another app, called Canary, can tell you if teens are using the phones behind the wheel, plus it can tell you if they're breaking curfew or even speeding.

"I think that app would probably be a wonderful app and I would like to try it out sometime," said Kyzer.

All the parents we spoke with agree, technology can't replace good parenting.

"I trust my child, but it doesn't mean I trust the decisions of other people's children," said North Chesterfield mother Nicole Timms.

You do have to pay for Canary. It's a one-time $10 fee if you sign up during your free trial.

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