Nanny Cameras – Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Child

November 5, 2015
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Rising living costs and increasing career demands mean that, for the majority of parents, hiring a full or part-time babysitter is a necessity. The anxiety connected with entrusting your child’s care to someone who is a near-stranger has seen an increased demand in “Nanny Cameras” or “Nanny Cams”.

What is a Nanny Cam?

Essentially a Nanny Cam is a camera placed in your house, which records your nanny, babysitter or au pair’s interaction with your child while you are away. The camera is often hidden in everyday objects placed strategically around the home.

What Nanny Cameras are available?

Counter Spy Shops, an international retail chain, reports a 25 percent increase in sales of Nanny Cams in the past five years. To meet the increased and varied demands, manufacturers have created a range of devices, varying in quality and price from about $100 to $500.

Before opting for a Nanny Cam, assess the environment where you’ll be placing the camera as the room size and lighting will determine the camera type you’ll need. You may also need more than one camera, depending on your child’s daily routine.

What are the different types of  Nanny Cameras?

Cameras can be found in a variety of forms from alarm clocks, digital photo frames or teddy bears to air purifiers, smoke alarms and AC adapters. All of these devices have motion-activated recording meaning video is only captured when someone is in the room. This saves you from trawling through endless hours of video and also conserves battery for those that don’t run on AC power.

A leading brand of Nanny Cam is the low-light Camscura Micro sold by Brickhouse Security. The camera is a small, black box that can be discreetly placed in any room as it is designed to fit into any item. It records 24 hours of motion-activated recording on a single charge and has up to three weeks of standby battery.

There are also a number of live video network or IP cameras which allow you to watch your nanny and child in real time from anywhere with internet connection. You can monitor one or more video cameras from your smartphone. Some require a physical cable connection, others are wireless and transmit data via radio frequency or WiFi.

Are Nanny Cameras legal?

It is legal to install a Nanny Camera within your home in all states, even without the nanny’s consent. The cameras do have to be placed in common spaces, however, and not private areas such as the bathroom or nanny’s room if she is a live-in. It is illegal in a number of states to use audio recording with nanny cams without prior consent. For those living in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Washington, audio recordings without prior notification means you could be prosecuted for violating this law and any evidence of abuse or neglect would be inadmissible in court.

Nanny Cameras can offer parents peace of mind that their children are being properly cared for, however, it’s important to remember the ethical implications of not consulting your nanny. If the cameras are found without prior discussion, the relationship can be destroyed. Your nanny may also feel personally violated and concerned about where the videos may end up.

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