When it comes to the safety of our children and their home, nothing is too much trouble. But have you considered whether using a video baby monitor is safe? In this article, I will discuss whether these monitors can harm your children and whether they can be misused by others.
You may be aware that there were reports of two infant deaths during the year under review, which was disarmed by the Summer Infant video baby monitors’ electrical cables. In both cases, this was caused by the camera being placed too close to the baby’s crib, one on the crib rail and the other on a changing table next to the crib. To avoid further tragic events, Summer Infant announced a voluntary recall so they could provide new product identifiers and instructions. Now it is made clear that the camera should be at least three feet from the cradle of the baby.
You do not have to place the camera directly on top of your baby to see it clearly. Even with night vision, you can see them from at least six feet away. Also, many cameras have a zoom feature so you can see them up close.
The other aspect of the security of video baby monitors is lack of security. ABC News (2010) warned parents that their babies could be seen through a baby video monitor while driving in the neighborhood. All parents were absolutely shocked that other people could see their baby in their cribs and were very worried that they had no warning that this could happen.
The problem is that many wireless electronic devices such as cordless phones, microwave ovens, radios, remote-controlled devices, security video cameras, smart meters for electrical energy, and of course your chosen baby monitoring systems are all running at similar frequencies. So if you have neighbors who also have baby monitors running at the same frequency, you’re open to interference, especially if they have a long range baby monitoring system. Nowadays, when you buy brand new digital baby monitors, for example, you will notice that they are usually shipped with more than one channel. If you get interference, you can switch to another channel without interference, but that does not guarantee safety.
Unlike WiFi computers, which can password protect, most video baby monitors have no security features. This means that the signal can be easily picked up by the receiver of a video monitor in your area. Obviously, people can only see the signal while the transmitter is on. The problem is that many people with video monitors leave them on for 24 hours, which could allow a burglar to determine if someone is at home or not.
For complete security, you should look for a model that offers frequency hopping and, if possible, data encryption technology because it is highly resistant to interference, especially if you’re thinking about bringing home a baby monitoring system for your twins. One model that offers both is the Motorola MBP36 Digital Video Baby Monitor. Unfortunately, this type of technology has a higher price, but if you need peace, then it is worth considering.
Are Video Baby Monitors Safe? Video baby monitors are very safe as long as you read the instructions and place the camera at least three feet away from your baby bed. Transmission signals are open to eavesdropping, so you need to make sure that you choose the right one for your circumstances.