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Be tech-savvy safe this summer


An app tracks your teen’s driving habits, shows his location and rates the trip. A browser designed for middle-school children blocks inappropriate content on the web. An oil company in Uganda invests in developing an app to teach local kids about road safety. A single click turns your phone into a road safety beacon during your evening cycling session.

The rap about technology being unsafe and making our lives more vulnerable does the round frequently. But if we look beyond the flak, technology is the tool that provides a solution to combat the risks that exists today. When we bring positive aspects of technology coupled with our mentoring and guidance to the younger beloveds in our lives, we give wings to their imagination, empower them to think differently and help them stay safe.

Digital technology tools are prevalent in our lives more than envisioned decades ago and a key aspect of its evolution is how it helps us be safe. Safety starts at home, right from the time our kid develops her pincer grip and we teach her not to pick up those dirty peas from the floor. The job gets more complex as children grow older and here’s where technology can help.

For those of us busy making the best of summer by teaching our kids how to swim, ride a bike, code or spend time traveling, we bring you a list of apps that will help create awareness of common dangers around us, travel safely and reinforce ways to stay safe at home or outdoors.

The developers say the name is exactly what the app is — a kid’s strap with an app. Tie and scan a cheap and funky Kidsstrap to the child’s wrist, download the app and you are ready to go on your exciting summer break with more peace of mind than ever before. Busy vacation resorts and amusements parks elevate parents’ worries about kids getting lost. So devices like these can potentially go a long way in keeping children safe.

GoodYear Crossroad Safety
Goodyear, a known name in the automobile parts industry, brings an app to teach preschoolers and kindergartners about road safety. How to safely cross at construction sights, railway crossing or at traffic lights are taught to kids through an interactive setting and fun graphics.

Ease your or your child’s flying fears or satiate his curiosity about aviation with this app that acts like your personal pilot. The app was authored by a trained pilot and aerophobia expert, and has helped overcome flying-anxiety for many people. Weather updates, expected turbulence, real-time commentary on wind conditions such as opening of landing gears or wing flaps are part of this detailed app for reluctant air travelers. All of this and much more is available on flight mode setting on your phone throughout the duration of your flight.

Safety for Kids
It is challenging to explain to young children how to react should an emergency situation occur. The Safety for Kids app introduces children four and above to twelve safety lessons, explaining what steps to take if emergency situations like getting lost, fire, earthquake, tsunami etc might occur. The app is interactive, wordless and role-play based with relatable, real-life settings. This app works effectively as a resource for both parents and teachers of children up to 8 years.

Red Cross Accident Prevention and First Aid
Developed in collaboration with the Red Cross society for kids in the age range 6-8, this educational app emphasizes that the best way to stay away from unpleasant surprises is by preventing them in the first place. The app teaches children how to prevent accidents, steps to take in case of emergency and basic first aid techniques. Available in twelve languages and presenting eleven everyday scenarios that are potentially dangerous, this resource is wonderful for both teachers and students.

Shikha Das Shankar is a storyteller. Multitasking dragon slayer mom. Happy hiker. When not writing, she loves hiking with her favorite trio—the son, the daughter and the husband or cooking her favorite foods in her de-stressing zone, the kitchen.

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