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Mobile apps, gadgets give parents control over kids' phone, safety

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The school year is getting underway, and with all of the new, high-tech phones on the market, school offices will soon be filling up with confiscated devices.

So what can you do to keep your student safe and out of trouble when it comes to cell phones?

Patricia Hite says she makes the decisions on how her daughter uses her
phone.

"I'm paying the bill for that phone, and it's important that her safety is my key factor right now in knowing where she's at and what's going on," Hite said.

Her daughter Cameron says it's important her mother knows where she is in case of an emergency.

"If you get kidnapped at all or like even hurt, then they know where you're at and they can come get you," she said.

Cameron says she keeps her phone in her locker during school hours, but she can't say the same for her peers.

"They're always texting in class, acting like they're paying attention," Cameron said. "When the teacher picks on them, they're like, 'What did you say?' And I'm like, 'You just need to get off the phone and keep it in your locker.'"

Cell phone providers are selling more gadgets to kids. That's why they're developing more apps for parents to control their child's use, like U.S. Cellular's Family Protector app, which tracks everything calls to texts and even photos your child takes.

"This would be a good way for myself to have piece of mind knowing where my child is at all times, and also build the relationship between the two of us, and build the trust, knowing that there's no secrets," U.S. Cellular Area Sales Manager Brent VanGilder said.

The app also allows parents to track where their child is at all times and notifies them if their child is not where they are supposed to be; giving moms and dads a little peace of mind.

"I think it's a good idea," Patricia Hite said.

Mobile apps are not the only tools. Parents can also buy tracking devices their kids can carry to let mom and dad know where they are at all times.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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