Parents worry about their kids; mom and dad are always scared for them… And this fear doesn’t end, even when the kids grow from naughty children to independent teenagers. They get their first motorbike, go camping for the first time, and start hanging out with some dangerous people. Sometimes you just really want to watch them and check whether your son or daughter is risking their health. Some time ago, we described special devices which track people, cars and pets. Today, we are interested in peculiarities of kid trackers. How do they work? What type of information is tracked? Will your kid be safe from trouble? Which specific trackers are recommended to buy? What are they praised or found fault with for? We’ll answer these questions in our review and will pick the best tracking devices for kids.
Are Kid Trackers Legal?
Before spying on anyone, any normal person should make sure this is legal - especially since many countries actively fight against any spy gadgets. There are three things to take into consideration when making this decision. On the one hand, EACH AND EVERY constitution in the world confirms human rights of liberty of movements. On the other hand, you have to mind the expedience of spying and precedents.
Spying on an adult with whom you are not related is a valid cause for filing a lawsuit. There have been precedents when individuals were fined substantially for installing GPS trackers on their acquaintances’ vehicles.
But what happens when it comes to controlling the kids? Geolocation data is relevant when the government controls deviant individuals. A law portal IBLS lists an interesting lawsuit. A 16 year-old teenager in one of the US states was obligated to wear a GPS tracker, as he was trouble. The police obliged him to wear it to school. The teenager filed a lawsuit for human rights infringement and… lost the case. The judge ruled that both the community and the boy benefit from him wearing the device.
The second case of justified spying deals with tracking aimed at ensuring the safety of an underage person. Parents are responsible for their kids’ health, safety and actions until they come of age. This means that the court will have a hard time proving the parents’ guilt in spying on their own daughter or son. Why so? Well, they decided for them, and so the parents have such a right!
A verbal consent of the kid or some serious arguments concerning the life danger will be enough to justify your actions. In any case, no legal precedents refuting this exist. Even if you imagine some smart boy or girl filing a lawsuit against their parents, it’ll be too hard to have them sentenced.
Although here we need to put a disclaimer and warn you to check whether a camera or a sound recorder are built in the kid tracking device you’re buying, because if they are, then the device is considered to be a prohibited spy device - such as one of those described in our Spy Gadgets Review. There are tons of such products on Chinese online markets, so be on the lookout.
Types of Tracking Devices for Kids: How Do They Work?
The majority of spying devices work with the help of GPS. As a rule, this technology is supported by GSM antennae, but their availability is not a must.
This doesn’t mean that there are no alternative options. Gadget universe has seen using GSM-frequencies and radio waves for spying. Today, we’ll tell you about a couple of such devices. The satellite technologies, nevertheless, will be in the center of our attention today.
All of the GPS locators for kids have distinguishable features: They are portable, have an autonomous and quite advanced power supply, and are provided with the manufacturer-designed software.
All of the kid tracking devices can:
- Detect the kid’s current location online or by query (you get the coordinates with the minimum time lag);
- Control the kid’s movement in permitted or prohibited areas which are determined by the parents.
What are these areas? Here’s an example to explain to you. You literally zone the whole town: you’ve got your “backyard,” “school,” “your neighbor’s backyard,” a “dangerous park,” etc. As soon as your kid is in one of these designated areas, you get a corresponding notification on your PC or smart phone.
What Is the Difference Between Different Kid Trackers Models?
Kid trackers are different by their type, software and functions. We’ll describe some of the additional features of such devices below, and now let’s turn to the most distinguishable features.
- A bracelet, a watch or a pendant for girls. These are usually colorful, cool models made of simple materials, such as plastic and rubber. This device will always be near the child (as the kid would literally wear it).
- Tiny GPS beacons are small boxes or purses which can be put into the kid’s backpack or jacket pocket. The idea is that these devices are miniature. They can be hidden easily so that no one knows about them…They are pretty much a true spy gadget. They break down, scratch or get lost less often, though your kid might leave his or her jacket or backpack somewhere.
- Smart phones may serve as a GPS beacon (if geo-locating is turned on), you only have to run a special app. Your kid won’t get bored of this toy and will be afraid to lose it. If you want you can even hide the spying app and install it without knowledge of the little owner of the phone which would function in a “secret mode.” We’ll leave this up to you and your conscience.
Accuracy. The most advanced trackers detect the child’s location with a 10-15 ft. - error less effective ones are not so accurate and their error may be of 30, 100, and even 300 ft.
Pay attention to how well it receives the satellite signal. Everyone knows about the “shield” effect, when tall buildings and even the trees block and reflect the satellite signal. That’s when the parents simply lose contact with the gadget, and therefore, with the kid. That’s why we recommend you to read some feedback of the real users of a model you’re about to buy. As a rule, any issues with the signal are the first to be mentioned by the dissatisfied customers.
The Child’s Age. For 4-5 year old kids the manufacturers offer colorful and bright wearable devices with high detection accuracy. It’s possible to set an “alarm area” of several square feet. Suppose the kid simply went from one room to another (to the kitchen, for example, where there are lots of sharp objects and the stove is on), and at that very moment the parents receive a notification.
Schoolchildren can be trusted with a smart phone with a GPS app, a wearable gadget, or with regular “spy boxes.” The manufacturers often add other social and interactive features - such as chat or “a family monitor,” which enables the kid to see on the map where their parents are.
College students and high school seniors are a whole different story. They ride motorbikes and even drive cars. GPS gadgets with speed detection were designed especially for these “kids.” You’ll find out about your kid speeding the moment it happens! And obviously, older kids won’t wear a plastic Mickey Mouse watch, so you’ll have to invest in a GPS band or a smart watch.
Alarm Button and Other Useful Features Of Child Tracking Devices
Besides regular functions, kid trackers have some nice perks. One of the most popular options that child trackers have is an “alarm button.” The owner of the gadget can ask their parents for help when in danger and send a message with exact coordinates of their location or make a call.
Pull-pin alarms. Apart from the alarm button function in the trackers, there are independent devices like pull-pin alarms. No matter how carefully you look after your kid, sometimes you are too far away to help at the moment when he or she has pressed a SOS button. Whereas with the help of such device as Vindi GUARD, the kid will surely draw everyone’s attention due to its piercing 130db siren sound heard within a range of up to 1000 feet. What is needed is to pull the pin of this tiny keychain. You may carry it either on the hook or keep it in the bag, hang on the belt or backpack. Besides, it has a funny-looking design and its logo with eyes will appeal both to girls and boys. Such item costs only ~$12.99 Check the current price.
A movement registry is also a very popular service. It lets you see all the routes taken up by the tracker’s owner during the day on the map. With the help of this registry the parents can check whether their kid did anything dangerous during the day and whether the kid was always doing what he or she was supposed to. The memory usually stores a couple of weeks of history, and some better models can even store up to 2-3 months of such history.
The detection of speed is another popular feature. An electronic speedometer will help you find out not only whether your young cyclist is following the rules, but also whether the school bus driver (or your neighbor whom you asked to give your kid a ride) is actually a good driver.
Some of the most advanced devices can track sexual predators on the map. There are online databases of pedophiles and child molesters in the US and some other countries. These databases store information about the criminals’ residence, their workplace and area of living. For a certain fee any US or UK citizen may install an “alarm notification” on the tracker. This notification will appear on the parents’ phone even if their son or daughter will simply pass by the predator’s house.And of course, in the interactive era of the 21st century, kid trackers users cannot be left without socializing. Their software can sync geolocation data with that of other social networks. Kids love checking in on Facebook and Twitter! Why not do this with a special app? The kids keep their cool, and the parents aren’t worried. For the most sociable families, there are chat, call, and messenger options in the kid trackers.
Below, we are going to share five different tracking devices for kids, including modern GPS trackers observing all of your child's movements, children's Smart Watches with a camera and an emergency SOS button, and a waterproof wristband that will help you watch your child while they are in a pool, lake or ocean, alerting you when your child is out of your proximity.
Tile Mate - Key Finder. Phone Finder. Anything Finder
This best-selling gadget has truly earned its title of the coolest Bluetooth tracking device for kids on Amazon.com. This tiny ~$18.50 device will help you find anything, be it keys, your phone, a bike, a car or, most importantly, your child.
Tile Mate connects to a special free app. Once you install it on your phone, you will be able to press the "dial" button in the app and hear your location or track another important object with GPS. You can put Tile Mate in your child's backpack, hang it on a keychain, to a belt Carabine or to anything else that your child always carries.
The manufacturer warns that all the locations are tracked approximately, as various factors including physiology, the gadget's location and motion affect the precision of GPS tracking. These small features typical of any GPS device did not prevent this gadget from becoming a best seller with 8,100 customer reviews on Amazon.com. It is reliable, universal and its battery promises to live a whole year without replacement. This must be a great choice for any parent concerned about their children's safety.
Price: ~$18.50 Check the current price.
Spy Tec STI GL300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracking Device for kids
This ~$49.95 gadget is slightly larger than the previous one, but its technical possibilities are also wider. Real-time tracking reports are available, as Spy Tec refreshes data every five seconds. It is compatible with any device connected to the Internet, such as a tablet, a smart phone, a PC or a laptop. The built-in accelerometer can definitely determine whether an object is moving and is energy-saving. But this is not the main perk of this GPS tracking device for kids. It lets you set the restrictions around the object tracked and signals once the object is out of these restrictions.
Place the device into your child's backpack and set geo-objects "School" or "Home." Once your child leaves one of these locations, the tracker will send you a text or an email. Are you worried about your older child’s behaviour? You can configure restriction settings to outside your neighborhood, and you will be always notified whenever your child has gone too far away from home. Do not worry about moisture, as the tracker's magnet case is waterproof.
It's important to note that Spy Tec maintenance costs $25 per month with free activation and cancellation. In general, the users are satisfied and claim that this gadget copes well with the tasks. It helped many victims who have been stalked or kidnapped by ex-spouses. $25 isn't too much to pay for safety, is it? Read nearly 2,500 customer reviews on Amazon.com to learn more.
Price: ~$49.95 Check the current price.
GBD GPS Tracker Child's Smart Watch for Children Girls Boys
Unlike other kids’ trackers, this one needn't be hidden in a backpack or hung on a keychain. Your child would love to wear this cool GPS watch for ~$32.98! It has an alarm clock, a contact list, a flashlight, some games, a timer and other useful things.
Parents are bound to love extended features of this GPS tracking device for kids:
- Camera. If you are worried and would like to check your child's surroundings, you can obtain a photo made by this watch.
- Remote Voice Monitor. It serves the same purpose: Dial your child's phone number and the watch will automatically respond to the call. That is how you will be able to hear your child's conversations without being noticed.
- SOS emergency call. Once you press the emergency button, the watch will automatically dial three pre-set numbers. In this way, your child will always be able to let you know if they need any help.
Before using the first two options, consider and respect your child's privacy. Only resort to using these options as an exception, when your child's safety and life are at risk.
The tracker is available in two colors: black-blue and black-pink. The device will require a sim card. The users are satisfied with this device and note that it is "simple, reliable and durable". Some, however, face certain problems with the sim card. You’ll find more helpful info on Amazon.com
Price: ~$32.98 Check the current price.
My Buddy Tag with Silicone
My Buddy Tag is a ~$42 child silicone wristband. It has a built-in sensor that will signal once the device is under water. That’s why it has become irreplaceable in summer when children are always out in the pool or open water sources. Each wristband is equipped with a panic button which can be used for communication in case of emergency.
Buddy Tag uses Bluetooth to connect with a smart phone. A special app is free for download on the Apple Store or Google Play Store. You can track when your child leaves the phone's Bluetooth range. At that moment, you will receive an email with the date, time and location of your child before they go off radar. By the way, My Buddy Tag can be worn without a band. You can take out the device and put it in a pocket or backpack. This won't affect its functions.
Price: ~$42 Check the current price.
Guardian Angel for 2 kid's Tracker Child Locator Alarm Family Protection Security Babysitter
Its manufacturers have long studied the statistics of accidents and kids going missing, and found out that very often a child gets into trouble right under their parents’ nose. According to them, either the parents’ full attention or Guardian Angel can prevent kidnappings.
Guardian Angels can monitor the area of 30 to 160 ft. (up to 500 ft. for new editions) away from the parents, who have a remote control. The toddler can crawl around with this “toy,” but the moment he or she gets somewhere prohibited, the parents will get a signal. If they don’t see the child, a light signal will direct them. You can buy a remote for 1, 2, 3 or 4 trackers, depending on the how many children you have: the more you’ve got, the less money per capita you’ll have to spend. If you have two toddlers, for example, a set of two trackers will cost ~$59.99.
Price: ~$59.99 (2-pack) Check the current price.
Our children’s safety is the top priority. As you might have noticed, you need not spend a fortune on tracking devices. The best and most popular trackers are accessible, such as the Tile Mate Finder for ~$18. We recommend you use only tested products of famous brand. A cheap counterfeit can fail at the least appropriate time, so why worry about your child's location? This review covered the five most popular trackers priced from ~$18 to $50 and suitable for any taste or need. The comparative chart below summarizes their main features.
A Сomparative Chart of the Best Tracking Devices for Kids
|Product||Type||How to wear||Price|
|Tile Mate ||Tag||Attach the device to your child's clothes, backpack or keychain.||~$18.50 |
|Spy Tec ||Portable tracker||Put it in your pocket or backpack.||~$49.95 |
|GBD GPS Tracker Watch ||Watch||As a wristwatch.||~$32.98 |
|My Buddy Tag ||Waterproof silicon band||As a band or a detachable device (you can out it in your pocket or backpack).||~$42 |
|Guardian Angel ||Babysitter: One base & 2 tags||Attach the device to your child's clothes, backpack or keychain.||~$59.99 (2-pack) |