If your child has a tendency to wander and explore the world around them, you might struggle to relax when they’re away from home.
No matter how capable, intelligent, and sensible your boy or girl may seem, the world is still a more dangerous place than they can comprehend. This makes it incredibly hard (if not impossible) for some parents to trust that their child will come back from their adventuring safe and sound.
Today, though, GPS tracking technology gives you the power to monitor your child's activity with family-focused GPS tracking wherever they go. The peace of mind this offers is invaluable – but what are the best options for your money?
Kidsport GPS Tracking Band
The Kidsport fits around your child’s wrist like a watch, and is linked to an app on your Android or iOS device.
This provides you with the ability to define geofences (location restrictions), location alerts, and its real-time location data keeps you informed of your child’s whereabouts at all times. Your child can send an SOS alert simply by tapping a special emergency button.
A real benefit of the Kidsport band is the communication feature: this allows you to say something to them through the corresponding app. If you want to ask them to come back as soon as possible, stay out of a certain area, or pick something up from the store on their way home, you can.
The HereO GPS watch is brilliantly designed to look like a cutting-edge watch: if you didn’t know it featured a GPS tracking facility, you would never assume it was more than a fashionable timepiece.
HereO is intended for children between three and 12 years of age, and connects to an iOS and Android app. It offers alerts, notifications for when your child reaches or leaves any spot you specify, location history tracking, and a panic button connected to numerous phone numbers.
LG Gizmopal is a GPS tracker for children between three and six years old. As a result, it’s a little more simplistic than some alternatives, without a screen or user interface, though it does come with a corresponding Android and iOS app.
As many as four phone numbers can contact the device, location data is provided, and location alerts are available. However, you cannot set geofences, which is a slight disadvantage.
The Flip2 has a simplistic design that’s as welcoming for younger children as the LG Gizmopal’s. You can use either GPS or Wi-Fi to track your child, and there are numerous features available – geofences, safe zones, location data, and a panic button.
As many as five different numbers can be used to send text messages and make voice calls to the tracker. You can adjust its battery life too, to use less power, and the app can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices.
Unlike the GPS tracking devices explored above, PocketFinder is not a watch or wristband – it clips onto a bag or fits inside a pocket.
You can use this to receive real-time location details, create geofences, and get alerts if they leave specific zones (either by email or texts). A speed limit tool is designed to inform you if your child is in a vehicle, and you can download the corresponding app for Android or iOS.
There is no capability to send texts or make voice calls to the device, though.
Another GPS tracking solution for your child that doesn’t require them to wear a device. Lociloci is an app your child can download on their Android or iOS smartphone, and you can track them using the same app on your own device.
This provides you with active location details, but it doesn’t let you set up geofences. However, you can obviously communicate with them by their phone if you see them entering a location you disapprove of, and it incurs a modest monthly fee.
Trax is a GPS tracking solution with a difference: this little plastic box can be inserted into your pocket, your bag, or worn on a belt or a tie.
Trax’s app is available for both Android and iOS, and includes geofencing, live updates, and speed alerts. While there’s no communication feature, there is an AR tool that uses your phone camera to show your child’s location in your field of vision.
Canary is a GPS tracking solution designed to help you monitor your child whenever they get into a vehicle. This is especially beneficial if your teenaged child drives, but even if they ride as passengers with friends on a regular basis.
This app (for both iOS and Android) tells you when your child gets into a car, whether they’re obeying a pre-set speed limit, go beyond your geofences, or begin sending text messages while at the wheel. This is a free app too, and requires no wearable tech.
Find My Friends
Find My Friends is an app for iOS devices, though Locate My Friends is available on Android. They are both free and simple, letting you track your child through their smartphone.
Location alerts are included, though geofencing and other more advanced features are missing. This is a great option if you want to keep an eye on your active child with minimal intrusion, though the lack of features means it may not be suitable for younger, less sensible children.
Paxie Bands are produced in varied designs and colours, all cool enough to encourage your child to wear them.
Paxie Bands don’t accommodate calls or texts, but they do let you create your own boundaries and notifications to establish your own safe zones. Interestingly, Paxie Bands tell you how many steps your child takes to help you monitor their fitness.
A removal alert tells you if your child takes the band off, too.
All of these GPS tracking solutions can help you monitor your active child’s behaviour and activities without affecting their independence. You need to talk with your child about what they would feel comfortable using (be it a band or an app) and be sure they understand your reasons for wanting to track them. Maintaining trust is vital.