As much as the idea of children stopping to check their smartphones during their Trick-or-Treat rounds gives me pause, I'm generally in favor of anything that increases kids' opportunities for (controlled doses of) freedom and independence, especially in a low-crime neighborhood like Granada Hills.
Parents who are ready to give their kids this sort of experience, in a tethered, 2010 sort of way might want to check out the app "TrickorTracker," which is free of charge for Halloween (and can be purchased for $9.99 afterwards).
The app installs on both the parent’s phone and the child’s own phone, but if your kid is too young to use a Smartphone, maybe they're not ready to trick-or-treat without an adult escort.
The child’s phone has a special “Where Am I?” and “Where’s My Parent?” button, and the parent’s phone has a corresponding “Where’s My Child?” button. Messages can be sent to the child’s phone using a special code that is picked up and responded to via pre-set coordinates.
Parents can program their phone to receive messages at regular intervals --or more often if necessary -- revealing exactly where their child is on an hourly basis.
The app also has a handy flashlight feature that illuminates the phone screen, casting a ray of light on a child's path and allowing them to travel more safely in the dark or into their treat bag to sneak a treat along their journey.
Check out TrickOrTracker.com.