a-and-e-new-logoRunaway Squad, a television series on A&E dedicated to finding and bringing home runaway kids, recently aired an episode that focused on a case they solved with help from Brickhouse Security. The episode features Tayvela, the fifteen year-old daughter of a hardworking (but often not around) Haitian immigrant studying to be a nurse in the United States. When Tayvela went missing, her mother turned to Runaway Squad to find her teenager.

Retired NYPD officer and current Private Investigator Joe Mazzilli and his team used Brickhouse Security’s Cell Phone Spy to download essential information that led to a crucial break in the case. Using the Cell Phone Spy, they discovered Tayvela’s passwords to her email addresses and social networking sites and also pictures of her being exploited on the Internet. With Mazzilli’s expertise on the subject and the evidence they had, the investigators speculated that Tayvela had become part of a gang that was exploiting her to make money. Through more investigative work Mazzilli’s team was able to locate her in a Brooklyn brothel, and they were ultimately able to reunite her safely with her mother, almost nine months after she originally disappeared.

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telemundologoThis week, the Telemundo television network stopped by our headquarters to film a segment about keeping your kids safe by using location devices such as GPS trackers and RFID based devices like the BrickHouse Child Locator. The spot aired this morning, check out the video for the full segment.

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blindsrecallOwners of Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds are being advised that their blinds may be a serious risk to children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is saying that since 2006, five deaths and 16 near strangulations have been reported, and three deaths have been connected to roll-up blinds since 2001. Consequentially, 50 million blinds are being recalled.

Walmart, Pottery Barn, JCPenny are amongst several major retailers participating in this recall. The CPSC is warning the industry and parents to take a look at all shades and blinds in the home to make sure that they don’t have any accessible cords that children can get too, and that these blinds are not placed near cribs, a child’s bed or any furniture that kids can use to climb on to and reach the cords.

Free retrofit kits are being offered for Roman shades and roll-up blinds by going to www.windowcoverings.org or by calling 1-800-506-4636.

(Via the Baltimore Sun)

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Nestle GerberIn child safety news, a recent baby food recall is sweeping store shelves with possible concerns over a Botulism contaminant. Plum Organics is recalling their apple and carrot flavored baby food for not meeting FDA requirements, and for possibly spreading the illness of Botulism. Botulism, a rare illness that only sees 145 cases a year in the U.S., can cause serious paralysis and is often spread through food. The baby food was being sold in stores like Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us and contaminated containers are the 4 .22 ounce pouches wit ha “best by” date of May 21, 2010. The UPC is 890180001221.

(Via NY Daily News)

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balloon-boy-balloonOn Thursday, October 15th, the Heene family’s worst nightmare came true, their 6-year-old son went missing. After frantically searching the house, their other son, Bradford, told the parents that Falcon (also known as “Balloon Boy”) told him that he was going to “sneak inside” the family’s weather balloon. Assuming that their young son was trapped inside the balloon, the family went into a frenzy of panic. They had no idea what to do or who to call. The father, Richard Heene, said:

“And then I asked Bradford to get on the roof – I put a ladder on the roof – and I said keep watching and find out where [the balloon]‘s going so we can report this. And I just pictured little Falcon inside, you know, being frightened and cold. What if he fell out? And, of course, the high voltage supply that we have on board, if he had touched that, he could have been electrocuted.”
After being tracked by military helicopters for about 50 miles through two counties, the balloon finally landed safely on the ground. But the biggest shock to the Heene family was just about to come. The boy wasn’t in the balloon.

“Oh, man, when when the police officers came in and closed the door and wanted to tell me something, and he paused, and I thought, ‘This can’t be good,’ and then he said it hit the ground and there was nobody in it….  And I immediately thought he had fallen out. And I was crushed, you know. Completely drained me, he said. “What was really horrible is the images going through my mind, scenarios that could have been played out. And the hardest part was visualizing him falling out and hitting the ground.”

balloon-boy-boyParents who have experienced this type of panic often turn to high tech child tracking devices like GPS trackers or child locators to help enhance their supervision. A GPS tracker could have accurately pinpointed the child’s whereabouts without having to go through this insane ordeal. Thankfully the Heene family was able to locate their boy, who was hiding in the attack at home all along. A shocking twist to the story was that when the boy was asked why he didn’t respond to his parents calling out for him, he said,

“You guys [his parents] said we did this for the show.”

That day, the family was being taped for a reality television show called “Wife Swap” and was being followed around by a camera crew that day. Which means it really could have just been a hoax and only a publicity stunt for the show… or really a parent’s worst nightmare.

(Via CBS News)

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appress1The Associated Press recently did a story about child locator devices where they interviewed a father who successfully used the BrickHouse Child Locator to locate his lost child during a family outing. The story also interviews BrickHouse Security’s CEO Todd Morris and asks him to weigh in on the subject of child locator devices. Read on for the full story.

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helpRecently, two young girls in South Australia, aged 10 and 12, found themselves in the precarious situation of being stuck in a storm drain. Armed with their mobile phones, they resorted to Facebook for help. But instead of calling emergency services, they simply updated their Facebook status. Fortunate for them, a friend who was online saw their Facebook status, and took it seriously enough to call for help. Of course had they called for help themselves, the whole rescue process would have been much quicker.

This is one story that totally boggles the mind. Could it be that kids nowadays are growing up with a mindset that social networking is naturally their first form of communication before anything else? It certainly seems so.

(Via Tech Radar)

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Aside from notebooks, pencils, and pens, a 14-year-old girl was apparently packing a gun in her backpack on Monday afternoon. The girl, who had been bullied, pulled out the gun and began to load it, when 18 year-old Kaleb Eulls, a star athlete and now local hero, came to the rescue. He was able to tackle the girl and disarm the gun, ensuring the bus rider’s safety.

Eulls explains, “I just realized something had to be done, and it was just a lot of kids on the bus and [I] couldn’t let anything happen to them,” he said. “I tried to grab her attention, just keep her from pointing it at anyone else in the bus,” he said. In a matter of seconds, the girl was disarmed before any serious damage could be done.

Reports state that the 14 year-old girl (whose identity remains private) was bullied and is now being held in a county youth detention center. She has been charged with possession of a firearm on school property, 22 counts of attempted aggravated assault, and kidnapping.

Embedded video from <a href=”http://www.cnn.com/video” mce_href=”http://www.cnn.com/video”>CNN Video</a>

(Via CNN)

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Mothers who send their children to school on the school bus system are often concerned with the safety of their child. Well parents in the Pike County School system can breathe even easier than most. Park County School have partnered up with Sprint Nextel and Telenav Track to install GPS cell phones on all of the county school buses.

Tom Hicks of the PCS transportation department stated “Over the past few years, buses have been hijacked in other places. this system helps protect our buses.”

According to Hicks, Sprint provided the equipment and it was all installed right before school started. Through this system county officials have the ability to see the exact mileage of the buses as well as their exact location and speeds.

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