TAMPA - The candy, the costumes, the trick or treating: Halloween is almost here.
And that means one thing for kids everywhere: Fun.
But for parents, it might be a slightly different story. You want to make sure your kids are having fun – but safely.
This Halloween season there may be an app just for you. It allows any parent to keep track of their kids right from the palm of their hand.
It's called "MamaBear," and it was developed by a company in Tampa. With the app, parents can always know where their kids are, who they're talking to on Facebook and even if they've skipped school.
Robyn Spoto, president of MamaBear, said the app was designed so parents could always stay connected with what their kids are doing.
"Our vision for this is worry-free parenting, and that's a grand vision," she said. "But we want to help parents tame some of that anxiety when their children are exploring the world without them."
Both the child and parent must download the app. The app tracks your kids on map, so you can always see where they are.
But that's not all.
Using its GPS technology, you can also tell if they're not in school. Just plug in the address of the school and the times they need to be at that location, and the app will send you an alert if they're not there.
You can also get alerts on their Facebook activity. It even lets you set a speed limit, and the phone can sense if your child is going too fast in a car.
You'll get an alert if they are.
The app is beneficial for the kids, too. They can send alerts back to your phone if they're ever in need of help.
Spoto calls the app a parent's one stop shop for child protection.
"Our biggest job is to protect our children, and when we hand them a phone and say 'here you go,' we're opening them up to a world of dangers," she said.
Of course, some high school students we spoke with were a bit uneasy about the idea.
"They'll know every place we are, which I mean is a good thing when it comes to our day in age, but as a kid, you just want your little ounce of freedom," said Kyle, a band student at Mitchell High School.
"Our parents shouldn't have to know everywhere we're going. We should have our privacy," said Aryelle, also a student at Mitchell.
Parents might disagree. After all, they're probably paying the cell phone bill. And Spoto said you can never put a price on knowing that your child is always safe.
Spoto said the app is in beta right now and is free, but soon the company plans on going to a paid subscription service. She said the app is available for Android and iPhone.
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