Homing device tracks wandering children

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The Independent Online
Anxious parents will be able to track down their wandering offspring with a new electronic device that can be attached to children and emits a loud warning screech when activated, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

The Childtrakka is claimed to be the United Kingdom's first electronic child-tracking device. Its makers, European Telecom, predict that the distinctive blue bumbag in which it is carried - together with its high- pitched 120-decibel alarm call - will rapidly become a familiar feature of shopping precincts, stores and amusement parks.

The market for child security products has grown in the wake of well- publicised cases such as the kidnapping and murder of James Bulger in Merseyside.

The Childtrakka, to be sold at pounds 39.99, is thought to be the first electronic system to be approved by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The main unit is carried by the child in a bumbag and a remote control that clips to the parent's belt or key-ring. To activate it, the parent presses a button and the alarm sounds on the child's receiver. With a 200ft range, the device can be used to locate children, or as a warning for them to stay where they are or return to their parents.