Knoxville mom tests GPS device on daughter

6:38 PM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR-Knoxville) As students go back to school, safety continues to be at the top of parent's minds. One Knoxville mother and self-defense instructor said technology may be the answer to their worries.

Cathy Steinberg travels across the country to give lessons on personal safety, and teaches self defense women's classes.

"I test out personal safety devices, and I've been testing out GPS devices," said Steinberg.

Steinberg said that's because like most kids, her 4-year-old daughter, Eden, is active and tends to wander.

"She's actually scared me a few times, at the mall, at restaurants where she's happened to wander off. Where one second she's there, the next second she's gone," said Steingberg.

Steinberg said the device, by Amber Alert GPS, was her favorite find.

"It's the only two-way communication device," explained Steinberg. "If my daughter ever feels threatened or scared, she presses the button and it's the only two-way system. This calls my cell phone, I can talk to her directly."

The website for the device appeared to be user friendly. Steinberg used the app on her phone to map where her daughter is, 24-7. The technology allowed Steinberg to create a safety zone, including Eden's daycare until 5 p.m. Friday.

"If she leaves before that, it's going to send me a text message and an email alert letting me know that she has left the zone. And then I can contact the daycare and find out what's going on, and ask why has Eden left," said Steinberg.

The network is also directly connected to the national sexual predator database.

"Shows you not only there's a predator, but when you click the actual predator itself, it shows you an actual picture," said Steinberg. "It's not only a description, you're actually looking at the face so you can recognize someone."

Other zones include a speed zone setting. Steinberg set Eden's at 45 miles-per-hour.

"My daughter doesn't drive yet, but I have a speed zone on her for 45 miles an hour and if she starts going all of the sudden over 45 miles an hour, it sends me a text message, Eden's going 45. Obviously she's in the car with somebody. If I didn't give her permission to be anywhere, then it gives me concern."

Steinberg said the device is a smart idea for families who take care of someone with special needs or an elderly person who has Alzheimer's or dementia.

"Just attach it to them and then you won't have to worry as much," said Steinberg.

She said now, her daughter will be permanently attached to the device.

"It gives you peace of mind. You can allow your kids to be kids, and you can send them off and they can go and play and you're not wondering  'where are they, where are they?'," said Steinberg. "Predators are using technology, we need to be using technology."

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