Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Children and families prepare for months to dress up in costume, celebrate with their friends and community, and collect treats. But for parents, safety is a priority.
“Over the years, Halloween has expanded from a single evening in the neighborhood into multiple events and locations,” said Tabatha McKay, area vice president/general manager for UScellular in New England. “In addition to trick-or-treating, children may also attend a school party and different celebrations with friends that last beyond a single day. Parents want to make sure their kids are safe at every activity regardless of if they are in their neighborhood or further away from home.”
Smartphones now have a variety of helpful safety features, like a built-in flashlight, easy access to emergency numbers, and as always, contact lists for important numbers and real-time location sharing. Older children and adults can easily have these in their pocket or purse in case it’s needed.
In addition to the safety value a smartphone provides, UScellular shares tech tips and communication tactics to keep trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween:
• Research a trick-or-treat plan: Families can use the Nextdoor app to find the best places to trick-or-treat and check neighborhood rules. The app’s Halloween Treat Map allows neighbors to mark their homes if they plan to pass out candy or display decorations.
• Set ground rules and expectations ahead of time: Families can use mobile navigation tools prior to trick-or-treating, such as Google Maps, to establish boundaries and create routes to follow.
• Play it safe: Most smartphones come with the capability of sending an SOS message quickly, whether it’s calling for help, alerting contacts of the user’s location or recording video. Enter In Case of Emergency numbers and neighbors’ or grandparents’ numbers on speed dial. Consider downloading Glympse for the evening, an app that allows families and friends to share real-time locations.
• Capture the Moments: Don’t forget to take pictures of your kids in their costumes. It’s a great way to preserve the moment and post to social media channels but also a good idea to have a reference of the costume your child is wearing in case they get lost.
• Use location tracking devices: If kids don’t have phones, Safewise offers a list of the best location tracking devices, such as smartwatches, wearable clip-ons and Apple AirTags. Families also can consider using screenless phones, like Relay, to communicate reliably so children can safely have independence while giving parents peace of mind. Additionally, Life360 is one of the most popular apps to track children, and parents can come together to track a group of friends as well.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2023. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com.