10 top tech gadgets and apps for frazzled parents

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We shuttle kids, juggle schedules, work harder and longer hours than ever before now that we're tethered to our tech 24/7. And we're supposed to do it all while providing a Pinterest-perfect home life. Ack, the pressure! The good news is that out of today's hyper-connected world comes a few simple tech tools that help make a busy parents life a little easier. Here are 10 of my favorite go-to gadgets and apps:

1. For safety peace of mind: Life 360

With a million schedules to keep straight I worry all the time that I'm forgetting to pick someone up at the right place at the right time. Life 360 is a big help with making sure everyone in the family is where they're supposed to be: safe, sound, and in touch. It's a free app that you set up on your phone, then invite your family to join on their mobile devices. It provides a map that shows you where they are — in real time — and lets them see you as well. It also has a geo-fencing feature that lets you set up a perimeter on the map for a designated location, like home, school or soccer practice. You get an automatic alert every time a family member arrives or departs from that designated area on the map. For emergencies, there's even a panic button. If someone pushes it, the app e-mails, texts and sends push notifications to everyone in the family, with a detailed map to let everyone see exact locations.

2. When you can't wait three weeks to see a doctor: ZocDoc

When your little one is sick in the middle of the night, ZocDoc (iPhone, Android) can come to the rescue. It's a free app that lets you find a nearby, in-network doctor, see their availability and instantly book an appointment online. You can do this 24/7, even if the doctor's office is closed. It also has reliable reviews and links to specific pediatrician resources in your area. With ZocDoc, the average wait time for an appointment is one to three days.

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