iPhoneIt seems like every day we hear stories of horrible things happening to our kids. From missing children to terrible car accidents caused by teens texting and driving, the world is a dangerous place. How can we keep our kids safe? 

There's an app for that.

Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, here's my list of apps that can help you keep your family out of danger -- both online and when they're out in the world.

1. Life 360 Family Locator -- The Family Locator bills itself as the "ultimate safety device" and lets you know the location of family members and what safety points or threats are nearby in real time using your phone's GPS. It also has a messaging platform so that family members can communicate.

2. Canary -- Teen Safety -- This app can help parents with teen drivers know if they're driving safely. The app tracks if teens are using smartphones in a moving vehicle, if they're talking while driving, if they're speeding, or if they've traveled beyond their boundaries or missed curfew. It requires a monthly subscription, but it seems like money well spent if it can help prevent distracted driving.

3. Car-Seat.Org Forums and Features -- This one provides advice, installation information, product info, and shopping tips for parents with small children who use car seats. It has safety questions and topics that members can discuss, and you can pose questions to the board's experts on everything from choosing a car seat to how to buckle them in.

4. Sex Offender Search -- Sex Offender Search lets you know where registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood using information from the National Sex Offender Registry. It shows profiles with an offender's address and a description of his crimes. You can also subscribe to a monthly report that lets you know if there's new activity in your area.

5. FBI Child ID -- This free app from the FBI lets you store photos and vital information about your kids, God forbid you ever actually need it, so that you can provide it to law enforcement officials immediately. It also allows you to email that information to the authorities. The app features tips on keeping kids safe, as well as resources for parents on what to do in the first few hours a child is missing.

6. Norton Family Parental Control -- This lets you monitor your kids' activity online on computers, tablets, or smartphones. It lets you track which sites your kids are visiting, block sites you don't want them to have access to, and monitor the amount of time they spend online. You can also see how your kids are presenting themselves on sites like Facebook or Twitter and track their search terms.

Which apps do you use to keep your family safe?

 

Image via cogdogblog/Flickr