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Surveillance, Security & Safety


                        The most desirable option to not hand your children over to child
                        care. In an ideal world, the parents should be the ones taking full
                        time care of their children and, in the event that you are unable to,
                        a close relative is the best option. Failing that, a close friend.
                        However, most people at some stage or another, hand their
                        children's care over to an external party.

                        If you're found in this position, of course you would interview the
                        prospective child minder, check references, do database
                        searches etc. This, in my opinion, is not enough. Since your
                        children are so important, I think it is wise to teach them about
                        security procedures (if they are old enough to understand) and
                        investigate some surveillance.

                        If you are handing responsibility over to an external party, the
                        preference would be for them to mind your children in your own
                        home. In your home you are able to monitor and survey what's
                        happening during and after the fact.

                        For example, you could rent/buy equipment specifically designed
                        just for the "babysitter monitoring market". There is a huge range
                        of products from teddy bears with built in camera and recorder
                        through to smoke detectors with built in cameras and small range
                        transmittors. You could be in the car down the street and still be
                        watching the sitter. If you were trialling a new sitter or if your child
                        is acting strangely or has marks you can not account for, you can
                        pull the tape out of the bear and review it.

                        Considerably more difficult would be if your children were being
                        minded away from your home. Some daycare centres actually
                        have webcams where you can check in on the progress of your
                        child throughout the day but no staff is going to be stupid enough
                        to harm your child in front of the camera they *know* is there. It is
                        possible, with today's technology, to imbed a small camera or
                        microphone with a recording device in your child's clothing. This
                        would allow you to, at least, review at the end of the day how your
                        child has been treated.

                        There is no inexpensive way to wire a child with a live video
                        transmitter. This technology is available but is relatively expensive
                        and is designed more towards professional investigative work and
                        is definitely not within the average consumer budget.

                        If you must have your child minded externally, have them minded
                        at home. You control the home environment so, therefore, you
                        can install microphones and camera to your heart's content. In
                        addition, other issues such as your child being fed foods you
                        wouldn't approve of or introduced to literature you wouldn't approve
                        of is less likely to happen in your own home as you are providing
                        all the materials.