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Five smart phone apps that could make Halloween safer

Smart phones are giving parents more options this Halloween.  A number of iPhone and Android apps that are new or updated for 2015 will allow parents to track their children or communicate with them.

We put together a list of five apps you might find helpful before your children hit the neighborhood this week.

FBI Child ID: This app provides invaluable tools in case a child disappears. Convenient electronic storage of photos and vital information about your child enables parents to show pictures and provide physical identifiers to first responders, as well as easily email the information to authorities.  The app has mostly mixed reviews from customers but the FBI recently updated it for ease of use.

Red Panic Button: This app is made specifically for emergencies. If your child opens the app and pushes the button, it automatically sends a text to selected contacts and includes a map of their location.  Some versions are free.  The app has mostly positive reviews in the Apple App Store.

Life360: After adding family members to the app, you can see their locations on a map and communicate with them. Life360 also allows kids to check-in, letting parents know whether they're safe or need help. The app is free and has mostly positive reviews in the Apple App Store.

Find my Friends: This iOS app allows you to transmit your location to friends and allows you to see where they are. The app is free but does not allow for family members to send messages within the app.

Family Locator: Allows parents to see kids' locations in real time and get notification when they reach their destination.  The app is free.

Of course, for the parents of young children no smart phone app can replace vigilance.  Police recommend sticking close to your children as they trick or treat in order to keep them as safe as possible.

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