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Empowering the Special Needs Community
Is it Legal to GPS Track Your Child? Is AngelSense Legal?
Yes, AngelSense and other GPS tracking devices are legal, period. A law was even passed recently, Kevin and Avonte’s Law, to prevent wandering tragedies by allocating funds to assist in the development of tracking devices like AngelSense. Bottom line, if you are the legal guardian of a child under 18 you have the legal right to use a child tracker. For teens and adults with special needs or dementia, it is also legal as their guardian to use these devices that will help you know where they are and keep them safe.
It is generally not legal to track an adult without them knowing or without consent. However, consent is not needed to give permission to adults to track their child. As the legal guardian, you can give permission to grandparents, teachers, therapists, babysitters, law enforcement, etc to access your child’s GPS tracking location and information.
When used by a legal guardian, or anyone given access by the guardian, AngelSense complies with all privacy regulations and laws including HIPAA. There have been questions about using the listen in feature in the handful of states with strict laws against recording conversations without consent like California and Nevada. However, AngelSense does not have the ability to record conversations and thus complies with these laws. Furthermore, the current voice plans only include 60 minutes per month for emergency situations, the device is usually worn in a case and under clothing that limits the range, and it can be disabled during school hours to comply with specific school regulations.
The voice features help to protect special needs children who are non-verbal and unable to tell their parents what is happening while they are at school or on the bus, it also gives parents the ability to calm their child and if the child elopes or gets lost, the guardian can give the child instructions or communicate with someone nearby the child to keep them safe until they can get to them. It is not meant to be and is not practical to be used for eavesdropping or to violate privacy laws. There is more information below about using AngelSense in schools.
Can You Put a Tracking Chip in Your Child?
The question of whether or not you can GPS chip your child, similar to chips put in pets, comes up occasionally and the answer is no. First of all, it would not be practical or useful – A tracking chip wouldn’t let you see the actual location of your child as it is simply a barcode with basic information about the pet. It has to be scanned to get the information, so putting a chip in your child would only help if the child was lost, taken to a police station and scanned.
GPS trackers, like AngelSense, allow you to see in real-time where your child is. This technology requires a GPS receiver and a battery, which obviously can’t be put under a child’s skin. The best way to track your child is to use a device like AngelSense that has continuous tracking updates all day and non-removable wearing options to ensure it stays on your child. This brings us to the next question.
Should You Use a GPS Tracker for Kids?
The question of whether or not someone should use a GPS Tracker for Kids is a hot topic, that is separate from the question of whether or not it is legal.
Whether or not you agree with GPS tracking for typical children, everyone should agree that those with special needs who require extra measures to keep them safe are an exception. When you consider that 50% of children with autism are at risk of wandering (or what is known as eloping), it’s easy to understand why parents turn to AngelSense to protect their children.
This is not something that most parents with typical children have to worry about, although there are cases where these children have issues with sleepwalking for instance, where a tracking device could provide added protection. It is also normal for parents to worry about their child going to and from school on their own and wanting the peace of mind knowing they made it safely.
When we see comments on social media from parents of typical children, or who don’t even have children at all, saying how wrong it is to track your child, we just shake our heads and wish they understood that their reality is not the reality of so many parents who desperately need help keeping their children safe. We love Mama Fry’s, from Autism with a Side of Fries, response! Watch it Here
Unfortunately, parents with children who have autism or other special needs don’t have the luxury of trusting that their child is safe when they are out in the world without them. The anxiety and worry that accompanies sending their special children to school is unimaginable. This is tenfold when a child is prone to escaping, wandering, running, or eloping. Something as simple as taking the bus to school, is a cause for great concern when your child can’t communicate, has meltdowns, is a target for bullying, or doesn’t have the faintest clue when it comes to safety awareness.
Parents who don’t have to deal with the serious safety issues that so many others have to face every day, can never fully understand how important it is to use a device like AngelSense.
Is AngelSense Allowed in Schools?
Thousands of schools across the country allow the use of AngelSense and all of its vast safety features. Some schools have even begun purchasing the device for families as a way to comply with policies to provide extra safety measures to keep special needs students safe.
On rare occasions, we have encountered schools that don’t understand the benefits of a device like AngelSense and initially tell parents it can’t be worn by their child at school. Usually, the issue is resolved with a doctor’s note stating that it is necessary for the child’s safety.
In some cases, the voice communication features and the listen in feature, in particular, are an issue. However, once we explain how the voice safety features work – that it can’t record, they only have 60 minutes of use per month, and they aren’t intended or practical for eavesdropping – most schools change their opinion and allow AngelSense to be worn by special needs children.
If there is still an issue, we have added a feature to automatically disable one or both of our voice features during school hours to fully comply with the privacy regulations in stricter schools. Our School Liaisons have experience collaborating with schools and parents to deal with school-related issues, they are there to help ensure AngelSense meets the school’s rules and regulations, speak with school and district administration, provide forms, and even have a sample doctor’s note to help you if an issue arises with your school.
Why Schools Should Embrace AngelSense
AngelSense is proven to save lives. Children with special needs who have a tendency to wander need extra protection, especially when they are away from home. We hear stories every day from parents about dangerous situations their children were in and how AngelSense helped – children put on the bus but never made it into the school, children who wandered off school grounds, children put on the wrong school bus after school or left behind, children dropped off at the wrong location, and more.
Many wandering incidents end up in body injury, mental and emotional degradation, and sometimes, unfortunately, with a tragic ending.
There are also so many cases when a parent was able to comfort a child who was having a meltdown with our 2-way voice feature. The ability to speak to your child when they need you the most is invaluable. There are even parents who have been able to prevent and rescue their children from bullying.
The peace of mind AngelSense provides children, parents, and teachers should be enough for schools to allow its use.
How AngelSense Complies with School Regulations
The ability for parents to protect their children at school is one of the primary reasons AngelSense was created. As autism parents, we understand how important it is to have safety measures in place to protect our children, this is why we offer special permissions for School Guardians with a special School Dashboard.
During specified days and hours, select teachers and staff can access your child’s location & tracking history, get elopement alerts, disable voice features, and update school days and hours. You’re completely in control of who has access and can customize access per guardian.
If voice features are an issue, you or the school guardian can disable the 1-Way and/or 2-Way Speakerphone during schooltime. It will automatically turn off at the start of the school day and turn back on when school is over, allowing you to access the feature while they are on the school bus before and after school. The disable setting can be overridden in case of emergency and in extreme cases voice features can be permanently disabled.
We are committed to helping parents use AngelSense at school and have designated customer care School Liaisons who have been through the process of getting approval. They are happy to speak with school or district administration to help obtain approval, assist with getting doctor’s recommendations, train school guardians, and more.
WATCH: Everything you need to know about using AngelSense at school
What is AngelSense and How Does it Keep Children SafeAngelSense is an advanced GPS tracking device with enhanced safety features specifically designed for special needs children. Unlike any other personal GPS location device, AngelSense offers a complete safety solution with features like:
- Real-Time Location Map – Know exactly where your child is all day long, the only GPS device with continuous, nonstop monitoring even in known places
- Speakerphone with Auto Answer – Talk to your child, calm them down, give them directions, or talk to other people nearby
- Call Request / SOS Button– Get notified when your child needs you
- Lifesaving Smart Alerts – Automatically knows when your child is not where they are supposed to be and lets you know
- Proactive Notifications – Prevent emergencies by knowing when they are in an unknown or unexpected place, when they arrive or depart safe zones, and more
- Warnings for Late Arrivals & Departures – Know right away if something is off in your child’s schedule
- Transit ‘School Bus’ Monitoring – See where they are on a detailed route map, their max speed, ETA, and if there is a detour or stop you’ll get a notification
- Non-Removable, Sensory Friendly Wearing – We offer a variety of wearing options that are durable, secure, and comfortable
- Customer Care Team that Understands – 100% of our customer care staff are AngelSense parents with special needs children
- Private Facebook Group where parents and guardians help each other, offer support, and share experiences.
This is just a brief example of what the AngelSense GPS Tracking Device offers. There isn’t another device that provides the safety features, security, and care that we do. We truly understand what being a special needs parent entails and our mission is to keep our children as safe as possible and provide the much needed peace of mind you deserve.