Would you implant a microchip in your child?

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2010 ( 56 moms have responded )

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With the search still ongoing for 7-year-old Kyron Horman, who disappeared from his Portland, Oregon, elementary school on Friday, some parents are wondering whether it's worth taking the idea of implanted tracking devices for kids more seriously.

The question of whether or not to implant microchips in our children isn't new. In 2002, CNN reported that parents in the United Kingdom were asking for microchip tracking devices for their kids after two 10-year-old girls were abducted and murdered. And Wired magazine wrote about it back in 2003, when Solusat, the Mexican distributor of VeriChip, launched its VeriKid program in Mexico.

What is new is that, in spite of the whole "Big Brother" aspect, and in spite of the obvious privacy issues (not to mention health risks), the microchip may be making a comback.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, about 800,000 children are reported missing, but more than half of them are runaways or only missing temporarily. About 204,000 were kidnapped by members of their own family, 58,000 were kidnapped by non-family members whom they know, and just 115 of them were the stereotypical, headline-making "snatched off the street" abductions involving "someone the child does not know or a slight acquaintance who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently."

Even though sterotypical kidnappings are rare, the fact that they happen at all is enough to make parents worry about it could happen to their children. As Kyron's case may show, security measures in schools may not be enough, so why not outfit the child with a permanent tracking system, you know, just in case?

Microchips and other radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) have been imbedded in pets and attached to items in order to track them for years. VeriChip is one; it's been sold in the US since 2002 and was approved for implantation in humans by the FDA in 2004, in spite of the fact that tests from the mid-1990s showed that the implanted microchips had "induced" cancer in laboratory animals, with most of the tumors encasing the implants. By 2007, about 2,000 of the devices had been implanted in humans around the world, The Washington Post reported.

While the current technology available for human implantation doesn't store much data -- just a 16-digit ID number -- the possibilities are there. And though it could provide peace of mind for parents -- police and FBI could track the child with the chip much in the same way security companies can track stolen cars that have RFID devices built-in -- they're easy enough to remove with just a knife (as anyone who has watched The Bourne Identity knows).

So, parents, weigh in: Would you implant a microchip in your child? Do you think it's a "better safe than sorry" move or a sign of helicopter parenting going too far?

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K. - posted on 09/05/2010

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I bet Kyron's mom wishes he had an implanted chip right about now. It's not about hovering, it's not about being paranoid, it's not about treating your child like an animal. And for any of you that think these microchips were developed for the safety of your animals, you're confused! You think anyone really gives a damn about your cat?! NO! They're testing them out. And Ary, I'm sure all parents of abducted children thought their odds were insanely low. If you for one second think that you're children are perfectly safe in THIS world, then you're confused too. And it's not about not teaching your kids boundaries, it has nothing to do with that. It's a tool designed for parents, to help them if, God forbid, their child was to get grabbed off the street. 'How would you teach your child boundaries?', lmao.

Leah - posted on 09/11/2010

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I think if the word was out there that some kids were being micro-chipped, it would make pedofiles and kidnappers think twice about it. Like if you have a sign on your house that says you're protected by an alarm system or a 'beware of dog' sign (even if you have neither), a burgular is less likely to risk robbing your house. I would have to say, as long as its deemed safe by the FDA and have given it a though check over, it would say for sure I would use it. Heck, this 'potential cancer causer' could one day bring your child back safely to you, whether its a kidnapping, runaway or getting lost at a carnival. There are many things out there that 'potentially cause cancer' like cell phones and microwaves, but we don't stop using them, and those things are just for convience! You can use a pay phone or heat your soup up on the stove, but majority of us don't. Like the old saying goes, "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it". And when the kids are teenagers, I'm sure it will come in handy! :D When they turn 18 and decide they want it removed, so be it. And to answer the question I know is coming, I wouldn't mind being microchipped myself either, if it would give my family peace of mind. I have nothing to hide!

Diane - posted on 09/11/2010

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Ashley said,” I would say yes with precautions though first it would have to be safe with no side effects.”

But side effects might not surface until years later. I just got a call from the doctor who did my hip replacement that the apparatus in my hip is being recalled. I had the surgery in 2006. So now what I am supposed to do? Who knows what these chips would do over time. They say in the future there will be more brain cancers because of cell phone use.

I would never however implant anything in my child.

I know many will laugh but anything that resembles the sign of the beast I am staying away from.

[deleted account]

I don't know if I would do it, but I can understand why many parents would. I think the law should state that the parents have to get them removed when the child reaches a certain age though.

Rosie - posted on 09/06/2010

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i think i might. i don't see the harm and i'm not one of the types of people that feels they would be used for tracking my childs whereabouts all the time. if my child was ever abducted it would be a wonderful thing to have. hell, my cat has one. my kids are a bit more important than carl the kitty. i don't see why they shouldn't. and as for helicopter parenting, i'm probably the furthest from it. maybe thats why i feel they would benefit cause i can't keep an eye on them 24/7.

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Cat - posted on 10/07/2010

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No, no unnecessary implants in my kids, no way... I'll take the necessary precautions with all my kids to try and keep them safe, but I'm not going to go that technical, it just opens up a whole other set of unknowns that I'm not comfortable with... It really seems like an invasion of my kids personal space that I'm not comfortable with... The statistics prove that stranger abductions are incredibly rare, so I can live with my kids not being microchipped, and just keep up with the stuff I do normally (walking them to and from school, knowing where they are when they're not with me, always having reliable trustworthy caregivers, etc)

Ashley - posted on 10/07/2010

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I think the data should go to a police division not parents in case of an emergency. I dont want children to be stalked i want to be able to find them if they go missing. Here in bc if your child goes missing from school they assume that your child skipped and do not phone you until after school 4 or 5 that could be hours after your middle school child went missing. School systems need to step up there safety because if my child went missing and i dident here about it until after school i would not be impressed and they would no about it.

Dani - posted on 10/06/2010

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I would take all the necessary precautions in keeping my son safe EXCEPT implanting a micro chip into his skin. First its our children as a 'safety precaution" then its us so we can "eliminate the use of ids,passports, credit cards, and paper money" and then we are all being watched from big satellites in space.After that whats next? Big barcodes on our heads? No Thanks.

[deleted account]

What about once he starts school, Dani? My son started kindy in August, on the second day, he got mixed up and went outside with the 4th graders when his class was on the way to PE. It took the school and police nearly an hour to find him. Also, very recently a boy disappeared from his school. He was sent into the hallway and that was the last he was seen. School security is very good, but things still happen....maybe I'm a worry wort, but he is my one and only and I need him safe.

I'm not saying I would implant it, but I make sure that little transponder is securely attached to him every morning.

Dani - posted on 10/06/2010

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Never. Its too big brother-ish for me. Hes never out of my sight and the only people he is alone with are me, his father, or our parents.

Heather - posted on 10/06/2010

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Why implant a microchip when, with today's cell phone technology, Big Brother can find you anywhere...even if your phone is OFF!

Jayde - posted on 10/05/2010

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I agree with ashley. I don't think i'd do it but i'd definitely understand someone who would. If anything happened to my daughter & it could have been prevented i would kill myself.

Kimberly - posted on 09/17/2010

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Depends it all varies!.
However for the safety of my kids and the possiblity of always having the knowledge of where my kids are is even greater, although there is that great risk the dissappearance of children & I wouldn't even know where to look besides the other possibilities of where they could be.
However it is an invasion of privacy and there is knowledge of their where abouts I don't really think there is a definite decision it all depends upon the parent, the situation & their child each decision is to be its own.
However as a parent I would always want know my childrens where abouts to know brings me peace of mind.

[deleted account]

Hi Leah, Ours is about 5 cm wide, 1 cm deep. You do have to switch it from one outfit to another every time he changes clothes, but once his pants are off, it slips right out of the pocket. They make clothing with special pockets in them to hold it. If I had a girl, I would buy them, but for Jake, his jean pocket works fine. I did sew little pockets into the inside waist band of his shorts...very simple.

They have smaller ones, but they use an RC signal instead of GPS so the range is only about 600ft. Those are about the size of a quarter.

A friend of mine has a GPS one about the size of a quarter, but thicker, but she paid A LOT more for it. I think it was around $3,000 but the service is about the same...$300/yr or so.

Ours looks a little different....It seems to be smaller than this one, but I'm pretty sure this is where we got it.
http://www.trackmykids.com/personal-trac...

Leah - posted on 09/15/2010

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Wow Kelly never even heard of those! Where do you get it from? Although we do live in a VERY safe town, I would love to get one, if not now then in the future. How big are they? Do you have to move it from pants pocket to pant pocket every time they change clothes? It would be great if they could make the transmitter shaped into something like an earing for the girls so you don't have to move it around.

[deleted account]

I am on the fence about actually having it implanted due to the possible medical side effects, but my wears a personal tracking device from TrackMyKids.

Yes, I am well aware that I am paranoid, but too many of these incidences that I fear have struck too close to my "home". On the second day of school, my son got confused and went to recess with the 4th graders when he should have gone to gym class (he is in 5k). It took the school AN HOUR to find him!!!!

Here's how the device we use works: There is a small transmitter that fits perfectly into the coin pocket on his jeans, so it is not obvious, will not fall out, and is not tempting for him to play with. I can track him from my phone or any computer--I can view him in real time, or I can look at his history. I can also set "safe zones" with times that will alert me by phone if he leaves an area before he is set to. I highly recommend it, I'm sure it is much cheaper than an implant ($300 for equipment, ~$300/yr for service).

My only fear is that an abductor would look for and remove it, but I think it is fairly well hidden in his pocket, and they are not used widely enough for the predator to think to look at the moment. That is the only reason I would consider the implant over the external device.

Does anyone else use one of these?

Chloie - posted on 09/15/2010

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if it was legal id have my kids tagged straight away they are the most important people in the world to me and i could not live with out them. The idea that they could be found quicker if they where obducted would help me sleep at night

K. - posted on 09/14/2010

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Yes Diana I would chip myself. Like I previously stated, if it meant that much to my family I would do it. What's the harm?

Sherri - posted on 09/12/2010

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Prove what point Lynda that my job as there mother is to keep them safe and get them to adult hood in one piece. My mom did it to me as well, even though I didn't know till I was an adult. She also had the police in our town follow and report back to her as to where I had gone (Easy to do when your dad is chief of police). Now I won't go that far and I won't do it everytime either. But here and there I most certainly will know where my children are and that they are safe.

Lydea - posted on 09/12/2010

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Oh Sherri. Before you make any decisions on whether to start stalking your own children, please consider the bond of trust first. BTY thanks for proving my point ;-)



Another thought - if children were regularly microchipped and someone wanted to snatch that child. Wouldn't they also then be prepared to cut the chip out? *Shudder*

Brenda - posted on 09/11/2010

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It's a back and forth topic for me. I remember when they had commericals for the chips to be put in to the elderly that had problems of sleep walking and other problems... i didnt like it then and i dont like it for my kids.. i love the advantages of the dont get me wrong it would be nice to be able to find them if something ever happened to them, but i really dont think its the right way to go.... to me in ways its just one more way for your every move and every conversation can be tracked and studied. now i woould be in no way against maybe a piece of jewerly or maybe a clothing item that the child always wears having a chip in it or attached. that way the child (when old enough) can decide weather or not to keep it or toss it without the pain of a knife being put in their skin just to remove it....... not too overbearing i think and gives the child enough respect to decide for them selves at some point.

[deleted account]

@Leah, I don't think the use of microchips would dissuade pedophiles from kidnapping kids. They'd just end up mutilating the children to get rid of the chip. I'm sure if microchips in children became commonplace, before you knew it, there'd be devices sold out there to locate them in your body.

Sherri - posted on 09/10/2010

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I don't think that is abuse in the least. A parent following the where abouts of there child is more than understandable. I have every intention when my kids begin driving to follow them and make sure they are where they say they are going to be so what is the difference? That is a parent looking out for a child not someone looking to harm a child and stalking them.

Lydea - posted on 09/10/2010

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We're all talking about strangers abusing the technology, when the most likely candidate for abuse is the parent themselves. How many parents do you think will be tracking their children throughout the day? How do you think that will impact on the parent-child bond? I believe most mothers would abuse the technology and not even realise they are doing it and in doing so they would lose their childrens trust. We are horrified by the chance of some stranger snatching our children off the street, but as the police know this is a very rare occurance. Is proctecting your child agaist a million in one possibility worth destroying their trust and privacy for?

Amy - posted on 09/10/2010

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I never have either. I belive that a low jack device is placed on the car not inside the engien. No a chip is not a practial solution, but it is one I am sure many of us parents have thought would be a good idea just for that fleeting minute when they are hiding under the rack of skirts in the department store and not answering our calls. If that has never happened to you congratulations. I am not so lucky. I think that my 15 and 4 year olds have made it a sport to see if they can cause me a heart attack. I do think that the locking arm band thing that I read about is a great idea for kids till they are in collage ( only kidding then again not really) and old folks is a great idea though. I guess some of my personality dosen't come through in the written word. Hope everyone has a great day.

Amy - posted on 09/10/2010

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What would the point be to hack and track kids. Anika is right plenty of kids on the road just waiting to be picked up.

Amy - posted on 09/10/2010

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I am not paranoid I am just sick of looking for one of my kids and not finding them. Usually cause they are hiding from me and don't want to be found. Anoyance is not enough of a reason for me to low jack my kids it is enough for me to threaten to do so.

Sue - posted on 09/09/2010

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I would have to know that it was safe but if it was I would 100% do it. You have to go with the times and its scary so many kidnappers and murderers I would do it in a heartbeat so I would never have to worry about not knowing where my child was

Ary - posted on 09/09/2010

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Oh, I realize that crazy people, drugs, etc. are everywhere. That's why I talked about proper caution. I completely believe in being cautious, and teaching my kids safety, and setting good guidelines and teaching them good common sense. But my point was that implanting microchips into children is taking it way overboard. I don't want my children to be terrified to explore their surroundings or to think that dangers lurk around every corner. We talk about why it's a good idea to not talk to strangers, and I answer any questions that my kids have. I think that as long as we teach our children to be cautious without being afraid to live, and we KNOW where they are, who they're with, etc. etc., we are doing our jobs as parents without having to implant a microchip that could very well cause a multitude of side effects. Like I said, bad things happen. Abductions happen. Disasters happen. But it would be sad to spend how many years of life your gifted with being afraid of being abducted, murdered, killed in a crash, etc. Proper caution, do your best to keep your family safe, and ENJOY. That's all you can do.

Amy - posted on 09/09/2010

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don't fool yourself there is no really safe area crazy people hide in plane sight everywhere. Don't take that to meen I think that we need to hover and control. It's just that drugs and violence are every where even if it is behind closed doors.

Amy - posted on 09/09/2010

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Ok I have thought for a long time that lojacking my kids was a good idea. I ever gave big brother a thought. What I was thinking was that I would have been able to find my 4 year old son hiding in the laundrymat dryer with out the heart stopping thought that he could be in the river that ran behind the laundry. I really have the low jack thought every time I am in public and my children don't answer my call. As my son got into the tweens he would just not answer his phone or come to the car cause he didn't want to deal with me. I suspect that adults in my exhusband's camp were telling both the kids that they really didn't have to listen to me. The point is that none of my children have been threanted or abducted and I have still thought that it might be a great idea if I could. I am not sure if I really would go through with it but, I have thought about it many times.

Barb - posted on 09/07/2010

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I don't know it's such a bad idea. I've heard of devices like this, not implanted, but like lockable bracelets for autistic or deaf children that tend to wander off. I'm sure mothers who are missing their babies would give anything to be able to find them now. I wouldn't want to find out myself.

Alison - posted on 09/07/2010

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I refuse to live my life in fear. Seriously? Implant a potentially cancer-causing device to protect my child from a very improbable kidnapping? And it doesn't even guarantee that I will find my child (if the chip is removed) or that it will save her life? I'm gonna pass on that one.

Ary - posted on 09/07/2010

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The odds of having your child abducted IS insanely low. Does it happen? Absolutely. Is it worth being paranoid about? NO. I tend to worry more about my child getting hit by a car, because statistically speaking, that is WAY more likely. And you know what? I've been thinking about this, and I would definitely NOT get my kids microchipped. There is no possible way for enough data to be available to tell me what kind of health risks my children may face in 10, 20 or 30 years. And as for other miscellaneous risks? The possibilities are endless. And to put my children through a bunch of unknown risks because I'm paranoid about them getting snatched up by a stranger? We're looking at about the same odds as them being killed in a plane crash. Bottom line is, it's my job as a mommy to teach my children about safety, and teach them to be as cautious as possible, but I'm NOT going to put them in a plastic bubble and teach them that the world is 'bad,' and run the risks of giving them unnecessary health problems down the line. There are risks everywhere. Freak accidents happen. Bad things happen. But it's not worth spending your whole life being paranoid and scared of everything, and teaching your children to be scared of everything and everyone. That's no way to live. I'm teaching my kids caution, but I also want them to know that life's a gift, and we all should enjoy it while we can.

[deleted account]

I don't think pedophiles would use it to find children. They can just wander down to any school or park, why would they invest the time and money to monitor a child's movements via technology?

[deleted account]

How many computer hackers are there that put viruses and stuff in random people's computers simply because they can? What about the people w/ that kind of intelligence that get their thrills from hurting kids....?? You don't think they would use this technology to find and prey on the children?

[deleted account]

Absolutely NOT! My thoughts have already been summed up nicely and I don't want to be redundant plus I'm sorta lazy today....it's a holiday today! ;)

[deleted account]

I think its a good idea but for some odd guess i am having here is if someone took my child and were aware of some parents implanting a chip in there children that the would cut it out etc not knowing what there doing the could cause serious damage but i know weighing it up here getting your child back is the most important part.. if having the chip helped bring your child back home, i think is a great thing but many will remove it so to not be traced..Also the information that would be held for all children..this day and age nothing is safe especially personal info.

K. - posted on 09/06/2010

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It wouldn't be for observation people. It would be for for the sole purpose of finding your child if anything was to ever happen to them. Kids go missing all the time, some are killed, some are not, some bodies turn up, some don't. Peace of mind I guess. With the understanding that the device was to come out at certain age. Adults aren't preyed on as much as kids. I'm an adult, I'm 27, I don't think I would need one. But if it meant that much to my mom or my husband, then yeah, why not? What's the harm in it?

Jenny - posted on 09/06/2010

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Not a chance in hell. Who would have access to the information? I don't feel comfortable putting my kids in the postiion of being implanted for observation for any reason outside of health.

[deleted account]

I have a question then for you guys, Kristen and Ashley (and I'm on the fence on this whole micro chip thing), would you consent to being microchipped?

Ashley - posted on 09/05/2010

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Thank you so much Kristen i just couldent explain like i wanted to and you did beautifully. The child trafficking thats happening now the kidnapping the kids getting lost. Im sure if you asked every parent out there who had or has a child missing im sure they would be on bored with this and not worried of boundary's or tagging there children. Last year a little boy camping with his family i think he was 3 got out of his tent and road his quad into the river were he floated down for several hours the quad had flipped someone found him thankfully in a boat but right there would you as a parent be worried about boundaries and tag''s or would you be thinking thank god i had that chip in him or he could of drowned. I dont no why people wouldn't want it.

Sherri - posted on 09/03/2010

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Not on your life!! I would not implant my child with anything unless 100% medically necessary. I don't want anyone with the ability to find my child on a moments notice and possibly stalk them. CREEPY!!

[deleted account]

I'm not sure. I'm not going to say definitely no, but I can't say definitely yes. I'm not worried about pedophiles or kidnapping but there have been a couple of cases lately here in NZ where children have gone missing and later found in drains/ponds/rivers. So sad...but I think I am leaning towards no.....I think. I suppose I don't mind having a chip in my kid now but what would it mean in 20 years time to have adults walking around with chips in them???

Dianne - posted on 09/03/2010

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Absolutely not. Yes, the worry might be that much more, but I would never put a devise in my child's body that wasn't absolutely necessary.

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2010

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I think it a little far fetched to assume that this is anything like a dog tag 1. a dog tag is not a GPS you can not locate where your dog is.
I do agree with the worry that the technology could get into the wrong hands but assuming for a second that everyone would be worried about that it would have to be impossible before anyone would or could sell it, could you Imagen the law suits who would consider it unless it was safe.

Charlie - posted on 09/03/2010

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NO , my child is not a dog .

Its absurd , not my body to insert or implant things into not to mention the the possible ways to abuse that technology .

Heres a thought if you can find your child using this device anyone with technological know how can find your child and guess who has great know how ?

THATS RIGHT peadophile rings that evade authorities everyday .i guarentee it will make it SOO much easier for them .

[deleted account]

Nope. And I can't figure out how to explain myself at the moment, so I'll just leave it at nope.

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2010

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I would say yes with precautions though first it would have to be safe with no side effects. The data would have to go to a police department and would only be allowed to be used if the child was missing because its not just kidnappers where i live there are a lot of woods mountains and such. I just think about all though's family's that have children out there somewhere with no way to find them. When a child is kidnapped you only have a short time period to get them back with this you could find them immediately. I dont believe parents should have the ability to cheek as that would be like stoking if billy said he went to the movies and mom sitting there with her gps thats weird but yes also the child would be able to decide if they want it removed at 14 to 16.

Lyndsay - posted on 09/03/2010

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I don't think I would. It's scary what can happen... really, when we're at the park, I almost have a panic attack if my son is out of my sight for more than 30 seconds. But I think microchips are a complete invasion of privacy (he's 3 now, so he doesn't need much... but he will grow older) and it's just creepy.

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