Would You Microchip Your Child?
Some parents want the ultimate protection for their kids.
We’ve all seen the headlines.
Elizabeth Smart. Jaycee Dugard. And Madeleine McCann, who disappeared three years ago while on vacation with her family in Portugal and still hasn’t been found.
Madeleine went missing just a few days before her fourth birthday. My son is going to be four in August.
Alex is my one and only son. My husband and I are not going to have any more children. If I lost him in a crowded mall or amusement park, I doubt that I would ever recover. If I someone abducted him and I didn’t know where to find him, I would probably go insane with grief.
Amid these heartbreaking thoughts, I wonder, how could I protect him? And how far would I go? It makes me wonder if a technology is out there that could track my child like a homing device, a built-in microchip that would enable authorities to locate him.
I know I’m not the only parent who’s contemplated this.
GPS-type child locators already exist on phones and other hand-held devices. “I know Sprint and several cell phone service providers have child locator services. But what if the kid loses the cell phone?” asks Leilani Haywood, the mother of an 8-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome. For that reason, she says, “I’m all for microchipping kids to protect them from the nuts and predators who take advantage of them.”
Other experts think the conversation about microchipping fuels unnecessary hysteria.
“Did you know that there are people who believe that if they let their kids stand on a public sidewalk they are 80% likely to be abducted? That’s nonsense,” says Wendie Howland, a health consultant and registered nurse who practices in Massachusetts.