Introducing Danielle Duval, aged 11, from Reading, Berkshire, who is preparing to undergo the revolutionary procedure of being fitted with a microchip tracking device for safety purposes.
Danielle believes it is a great idea, especially since the recent events involving the abduction of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman have made her quite nervous. She is not alone in her thoughts, as most of her friends are also willing to undergo the procedure. Even her younger sister, Amy, agrees that it could aid in keeping children safe.
Wendy Duval, Danielle’s mother, is just one such parent who believes that the chip is a responsible choice. She admits it won’t prevent abductions from happening, but it does give her peace of mind, especially when Danielle is out and about. Wendy is not the only parent who sees the benefits, as she has had numerous people inquire about where to get the device.
Critics of the chip may claim that it won’t work, but Professor Kevin Warwick, from Reading University’s cybernetics department and the designer of the tracker microchip, is confident that it will be effective. Even if the chip only saves one life, it will be worth it. However, Mary MacLeod, the Chief Executive of the National Family and Parenting Institute, expressed concern that the procedure might be invasive and may not guarantee that children are safe.
All in all, while the chip may not be the solution to ensuring the complete safety of children, it is an option for parents who want peace of mind. The decision to utilize the device is up to every individual parent and child, and it must be taken after careful consideration of its associated ethical concerns and benefits.
Kate Figes, a mother of two and author of Terrible Teens: What Every Parent Needs to Know, disagrees strongly with the idea of implanting trackers in children. She believes that treating children like pets is wrong and that it is more important to prepare them for the real world. Fear is not a healthy motivating factor for parents to implant these devices in their children. Instead, she emphasizes the role of good parenting in building a child’s sense of safety, which enables them to develop their own internal warning system. She underlines that for children to become responsible individuals, they need the freedom to explore and develop on their own. Therefore, implanting trackers in children is not a substitute for good parenting.
On the other hand, for Pauline Nolan, who experienced the ordeal of losing her 15-year-old son Dan when he went missing while fishing with friends in Hamble, near Southampton, trackers are a means for peace of mind. She wishes Dan had a chip implanted in him as it would have made the search for him easier. She believes that trackers would be helpful for parents who want to keep their children safe and know their location. However, she acknowledges that this should be a mutual agreement between parents and children, and that a child’s privacy should be respected.
Pauline Nolan is also concerned about the alarming rate at which children are reported missing. She is frustrated with experts who underestimate the likelihood of abduction and the lack of media coverage on the issue. She highlights that as many as 220 under-18s go missing each day, and 60 children are unaccounted for each day, leaving them vulnerable and in need of finding. For that reason, she is supporting the National Missing Persons Helpline, which is launching a fresh appeal to find her son Dan. They are using lorries to display his picture, and a 24-hour helpline number is available for anyone who has information.
In conclusion, while Kate Figes and Pauline Nolan have their own different takes on the use of trackers for children, both are concerned about the safety of children and emphasize the importance of parental guidance and the need to find missing children quickly.