25,000 children are reported as missing in the EU every single year. This equates to one child for each two minutes which pass.
It’s a startling statistic, and downright troubling if you’re a parent or guardian. The prospect of your little boy or girl being out in the world without you watching over them is terrifying, especially if your child isn’t independently-minded yet.
Keeping your child safe is still a challenge while at home, but at least you can educate them on the potential hazards of your local area and show them the safest places to visit. However, what happens when they travel abroad for the first time?
Parents of younger children can particularly struggle with this, even if they’re visiting a foreign country with a friend’s family or their school. As much as you trust the adults they will be travelling with, you can find it difficult to accept that they will be straying so far from you.
GPS tracking is just one modern solution today that enables you to maintain contact with your child when they go abroad. While messaging and video chat make talking with them easy, GPS tracking provides real-time data on their activities.
There are many different tracking options available today, varying in design and function, with numerous manufacturers producing everything from GPS-enabled wristbands and watches to smartphone apps.
GPS Child Tracking: Independence and Privacy
The concept of using GPS technology to track your child may seem a tad extreme to some parents, considering that it can be seen as infringing on their right to privacy. Not every child will feel as if they are being spied on, of course, though those with more of an independent streak are likely to reject the idea immediately.
It’s vital for every parent to discuss the specifics of using GPS tracking with your child beforehand. They have to know they are being monitored, even though they will have nothing to hide and your intentions are noble.
Sit down and have a frank discussion with them about how vital it is to set your mind at ease. Emphasize that you just want to make sure they are safe while they are so far from home for the first time.
Particularly sensitive children may well regard the idea of being tracked as a comfort, seeing it as a way to feel closer to you on their travels.
GPS Child Tracking: Form and Function
The way in which your GPS tracking functions varies depending on the device used. Wearable techs – such as a watch, wristband, or clip-on gadget – are used alongside smartphone apps. You simply download this, and you will be able to monitor your child’s activities from afar.
Smartphone apps, on the other hand, will need to be downloaded on yours and the child’s handset.
There are different advantages and disadvantages to each. Wearable GPS tracking devices are affixed to your child’s wrist, clothing, or backpack at all times, and are unlikely to be become separated from them. Smartphone apps obviously need the handset to be in your child’s possession to be effective, and phones can easily be misplaced or stolen.
Another point to consider is the range of features included with your child’s GPS tracking tech. Some manufacturers equip their wearable wristbands with panic buttons: a simple press of this will raise the alarm, notifying you that they need assistance.
You could contact the adults they are travelling with in the event of the button being pushed, or get in touch with the local authorities within a matter of moments, ready to provide them with the child’s last-known location.
Two-way communication is another feature on today’s GPS tracking technology, although this may not be an option when your child is abroad. You need to check availability with the company behind your app.
Bookmarking is a terrific feature of GPS monitoring, available on certain apps. This allows you to store the location of specific places your child has visited (or is likely to), along with important details (address, number, pictures). You can use this to keep track of the key spots in the areas your child is exploring, and potentially provide them with an important place to go to in case of an emergency.
Using bookmarks is fast and simple, usually requiring little more than to click on the site in question. Bookmarks can be shared with others too, which may be ideal to keep your child’s teachers or carers informed of points of interest during the trip, without the need to speak over the phone or send emails. Bookmarks may be shared via web links for those who don’t actually have the same app that you use.
Choosing to monitor your child’s activities whilst abroad with GPS tracking technology is a simple solution that every parent or guardian should consider. Not only it is usually cost-effective, it’s accessible for even the most non-tech-savvy person too.
The important thing is to make sure your child knows how to stay safe and to contact you if needed, without leaving them too afraid to enjoy their trip. The world is full of beautiful sights and experiences, and GPS tracking helps them discover this without having to leave your supervision.