DETROIT — If you grew up in a neighborhood, or subdivision, you likely remember roaming from house to house until the porch lights came on.
Nowadays parents can buy trackers for kids, but they require charging and in some cases can be damaged. The creator of SafeSubs , an app that’s now available for download, thinks the better option is to let kids take some control back; while parents use his free app.
“This creates a community — a small group that all have their children and safety of their child in mind,” explains Chris Pagett.
Pagett, a Michigan parent, realized he had an issue when a neighborhood kid showed up wanting to play with his kids on their new trampoline. Pagett felt bad, but had to send the kid home to ask his parents for permission because he didn’t have any contact information. That’s when he knew there had to be a better way.
His idea was simple, an app that opened the door for parents to connect and notify each other where their kids show up to play.
You download the SafeSubs app and encourage other neighborhood families to do the same. Once you’re on the app, you upload your family details so that when a neighborhood kid shows up on your doorstep, you can alert the parents when they show up and/or leave your home. Profiles can include everything from allergic reactions (in case a kid shows up around lunch, or snack time) and curfews.
If you want your child to come home, there’s a “send home” button that notifies the other parent to tell your child it’s time to go home – there’s even a “hangout area” where you can alert other parents that your kid isn’t busy — or is available for a play date.
“Mom and Dad aren’t going through a contact list trying to find a kid to play,” said Pagett.
The neighborhoods can be privatized so that only a small number of parents can interact, or you can leave it public so everyone can meet one-another. There’s a block feature in case someone comes into a neighborhood and seems inappropriate.
As Pagett explained, his own neighborhood has more than 250 homes in Howell and you quickly start to get an idea of how many kids are located around you and how quickly they move from place to place.
“We want to encourage play,” said Pagett. “Obviously, most parents just want to know where their kids are but they don’t always stay — or go where they initially say.”