In the 21st century, parenthood and paranoia often walk hand in hand.
For some, the blessed event is followed by high-tech surveillance — a monitoring system tracks the baby's breathing rhythms and relays infrared images from the nursery. The next investment might be a nanny cam, to keep watch on the child's hired caregivers. Toddlers and grade schoolers can be equipped with GPS devices enabling a parent to know their location should something go awry.
To cope with the uncertainties of the teen years, some parents acquire spyware to monitor their children's online and cell phone activity. Others resort to home drug-testing kits.
Added together, there's a diverse, multi-billion-dollar industry seeking to capitalize on parents' worst fears about their children — fears aggravated by occasional high-profile abductions and the dangers lurking in cyberspace. One mistake can put a child at risk or go viral online, quickly ruining a reputation.