HOUSTON (FOX 26) - For thousands of kids in the Houston area, the only way to get home after school is to walk. For some, it can be a very long walk home, and many parents worry about where their kids are and whether they have gotten home safely.
Well, now, there is an app called 'Companion', and it allows you to track your kids if they ever have to walk home alone.
“There's buttons for him to push if he doesn't feel safe. If he feels nervous, he can do that, kind of like a safety net,” said KaraAnn Williams, a parent from Pecan Grove.
Parents can set it up, connect it to whomever they want to keep an eye on, and parents can watch as the GPS tracks where their kids are.
As Austin, KaraAnn’s son, walked home from school, his mom was able to follow where he was.
“It makes me feel better because then I know they're not going to freak out,” said Austin Williams, a 6th grader.
And if someone were to stop him, push him off his path, or worst-case scenario – be taken away in a car or abducted, the app would send out an alarm to parents.
The app can also sense if you start running with your phone or if you get pushed over.
There's also an option to call police.
We tested it, and, in this case, had Austin's brother take him off his course. The app responded accordingly.
“I love the fact that he went off course, and I got an alert, and it said “Call Austin.” It kept asking me, and he would come back on course, and then I would call him and see if he was ok. He was ok, and he'd go off course again, and I like that I can see where he is, in case something happens,” said KaraAnn.
“It's important because there are so many kids who don't know, like in elementary school and also high school, in middle school, they still don't know what to do when a stranger confronts them,” said Austin.
For this mom, it's an incredibly useful app in this day and age when you simply can't trust people out there.
“There's a lot more predators. There's a lot of people that have made some bad choices in their life, and we need to be aware of where our kids are….in hopes to protect them from people who want to do harm to people,” said KaraAnn.