What’s Next? Micro Chipping for Kids?
By Amie Henderson at Morzine Source Magazine
I’m the mother of two constantly moving, always excited little boys who live year-round in the mountains. In spite, or perhaps because of where we live, I’ve yet to lose them in a public place. Friends back in the real world recount stories of the sickening, heart-wrenching moment they lose sight of a little one for a few moments in Tesco. I’m told it feels like hours and there’s no doubt I still have this parental rite of passage to come.
But would I make little Hamish, aged 3, wear a tracking device while in ski school? Location monitoring for children is a big deal these days, with one ski school elsewhere in the Alps fitting devices to all their littlies during their lessons. “It’s so parents can see where their children have skied” they justify. The cynics out there (moi? Non…) wonder whether this ‘added extra’ is nothing more than a marketing ploy, pulling on the heart strings of modern parents and fuelling paranoia.
One of the most popular GPS watches on the market sells itself as ‘ensuring your kids are safe when out of sight’. But how can this be possible? Last time I checked, my smart watch didn’t have the super hero powers required to stop me skiing off a cliff in a whiteout and I’m fairly sure the kid’s version doesn’t either. And then there are the arguments about limiting children’s privacy and personal freedom, which I tend to agree with when it comes to older kids and teenagers.
So interested was I in this whole child-tracking phenomenon, I initiated a very simple poll on the Morzine Source Magazine Facebook page a little while back. ‘Are wearable tracking devices for kids on ski holidays a good idea?’ I asked. 84% responded yes, while 16% responded no. One typical response was that GPS trackers give parents the peace of mind they need to enjoy their own ski day while their little ones were in ski school. Cue the mother of little Johnny, at the side of the piste, checking her iPhone for the tenth time in an hour to see how many times he’s lapped Procolu this morning. Cue the father of little Tilly, desperately looking for a better signal on a chairlift to check that her ski group have moved on from their hot chocolate / toilet break. Does being able to track your children on the mountain enhance or inhibit your holiday experience? That’s the question. Read on...