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Parents are always going to want to know their kids are safe. You could be living on your own and married with kids, but you might still get the occasional "text me when you get there" message from a parent.

Knowing that their kids are safe is a huge part of being a parent. And forgetting to check in is just as big a part of being a kid.

One dad is leveraging today's smartphone obsession to make sure kids check in with their parents. Nick Herbert developed ReplyASAP, an app that freezes your kid's phone until they call or text their parents back.

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As a parent, simply install the app on your phone and your child's. Tap the message button in the bottom left of the screen to start a new ASAP. Select who you want to send the ASAP to, what the message will say and what time you want to send it. Parents can send an ASAP immediately or schedule a time, like when it's nearing curfew.

Tapping the bottom middle button will display your message history with your child. If your child hasn't read the message, it shows in purple. Once it's been seen, it'll switch to green.

As soon as you send the ASAP, your child's phone will start ringing, even if they have it set to silent mode. The phone will continue to ring until the recipient taps Cancel. Tapping Cancel will turn the message on the parent's phone green and time stamp it.

Parents can also receive ASAPs from their kids, according to Herbert, which can make for better communication in emergencies. In addition to making sure the recipient sees the message, the sender will get a link to view the other's location. Herbert said all messages are encrypted for privacy.

Both users must consent to using the app, and parents will get a notification if their child deletes it. If the recipient's phone is turned off, or the battery is dead, the ASAP won't go through. When the phone is powered back on, the ASAP will send.

ReplyASAP is free to download, but families can expand on the features with different packages for a few extra dollars.

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  1. Dad Nick Herbert created ReplyASAP, an app that freezes your kid's phone until they call or text their parents back.
  2. The app is designed to make sure the recipient sees and replies to important texts. Kids can also send ASAPs to parents. The sender will see the recipient's location via the message.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.