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Promote teen safety with convenient apps
During the summer months, many teens venture into their first jobs, and others take trips to distant locations. Apps on their ever-present Smartphones can be helpful when they find themselves responsible not only for themselves but also for children.
There are free or low-cost apps that can help teens in almost any situation, whether they are mowing lawns, lifeguarding, babysitting, or taking vacations.
Every American teenager seems to have access to a Smartphone of some kind. I have seen 12-year-old kids with more expensive phones than I have. Teens and their phones are rarely separated; in fact, I am pretty sure most of them have had their phones surgically attached to their hands. As your teens take on new responsibilities, arm them with Smartphone apps that can help them stay safe while on their new job or adventure.
Working as a lifeguard requires training and a constant eye on the water. However, the Sun Alert Lite app (free) warns users when they have been out in the sun long enough to get sunburned. The UV Index app ($1.99 for iPhone) gives the local UV index and recommends a sunscreen for the user’s skin type. Or download the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV Index forecast for free at http://www.epa.gov/enviro/mobile/.
Many teens spend their summers babysitting, and the Babysitting Guide app (free for Android) covers everything from what to do if the baby is crying to how to stay safe outdoors. This app also includes a rate calculator. The First Aid app (free) sponsored by the American Red Cross is also a great app to have in case of emergency. This app includes a quick reference index with video and written instructions for responding to that particular emergency. The app can be downloaded from the American Red Cross website at http://tinyurl.com/redcrossapp.
Camp counselors will appreciate the Rescue Kit ($1.99 for iPhones), which can tell emergency responders the exact GPS location of the phone’s user in case of an accident. Whether you are out on the trail hiking or camping overnight, this app can turn your phone into a flashing traffic light or beacon. It includes emergency contact information for many foreign countries as well. If camping is your thing, check out the What Knot To Do app (free) from Columbia. This app categorizes knots by function and then shows you how to make the knot.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a list of Smartphone apps that can be used in an emergency. That list can be found at http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/disasterapps.html.
Smartphone apps can give your teen confidence to respond in an emergency. Downloading the apps beforehand can give your youth the opportunity to review and study the information before they find themselves in an actual emergency.