The Washington Post

On Halloween, forget the mobile tracking devices. Try trusting your kids instead.

Many parents will use mobile location tracking apps or devices to monitor their children on Halloween this year, according to a public relations pitch that landed in my inbox recently.

If this is true, I think we may have reached a new low in helicopter parenting.

It seems pretty simple. If your child is too young to trick-or-treat alone safely, you go with him. And if he’s old enough to go out without an adult, you trust his good judgment enough to let him go.

My children fall into the former category. But when they age into the latter, I will not be tracking their Halloween capers with a GPS-like device. I promise.

I’m not saying these devices and apps don’t have their place — they do. Children with autism or other special needs who have a tendency to bolt are perfect candidates for tracking devices, especially if they are nonverbal like Avonte Oquendo, the autistic New York City teenager who has been missing for three weeks.

But if you have a run-of-the-mill kid, and you trust him, let him trick-or-treat in peace. If you don’t trust him, well, that’s another issue, and no GPS is going to fix that (unless it comes equipped with a nanny-cam so you can also watch his every move).

Tell us what you think in the comments section. Have you ever used one of these apps to track your child? Do you plan to use one on Halloween?

Mari-Jane Williams edits community news for Local Living.
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