When it comes to keeping my children safe, there is absolutely no length that I won't go to. Parenting certainly isn't easy and kids can put themselves in some rather precarious situations without considering the consequences. Tracking your kids used to mean following footprints and broken branches. Not very user friendly. Luckily, technology is quickly catching up and offering the modern parent a variety of solutions.
If you're considering something small and discrete that might assist you in ensuring your kids are where they should be you have two options. Cost-effective Bluetooth trackers and long-range GPS trackers. Each has their distinct advantages and even some disadvantages to consider. Fear not, because today we will break both of these options down in detail and show you some of the best options to track your kids.
But first we have to question whether or not it is the right move or not...
Pondering The Morality Of Tracking Your Kids
The subset of my friends that would physically recoil at the thought of tracking their kids through either GPS or Bluetooth is significant. As with most newer forms of technology, it certainly takes an adjustment period before acceptance from society as a whole. Obviously I'm of the opinion that it's perfectly justified, and I won't hesitate to explain my rationale.
The morality of GPS tracking children comes down to actual usage. Kids require a modicum of trust, and knowing that they're being tracked can damage that. Tracking my kids isn't a matter of whether I trust them or not, because I absolutely do. The heart of the issue is regarding security.
Can you really put a price on being informed? If something ever happens to one of my children I will be much further ahead of the curve in calling for assistance and it could save a life. If they make the decision to deviate from routine I generally won't call them out on it, depending on what they decided to do. Ditching school? Not OK. Going out with kids after sports? Go for it! Autonomy is just as important for children as it is for adults.
Bluetooth Trackers for Kids
Shorter range and generally a more inexpensive option, I'd suggest Bluetooth tracking for parents that have hyperactive kids bolting in and out of the house. It can be so exhausting to try and chase them here and there. On that note, if your kids are running around make sure that they're visible, our stylish reflective shoelaces can keep your children safe from inattentive drivers.
With a Bluetooth tracker I can simply open an app on my phone and immediately know that they're in their bedroom, outside on the playset, or even at the neighbor's house. No more shouting for them to come, I can walk to where they are and easily talk to them. Here are some of our favorite Bluetooth trackers:
Tile is the premier name in Bluetooth tracking and this handy essentials pack will start you off on the right foot. Tile stickers are absolutely perfect to stick into a shoe, sweater, or into a phone case. If it's going into a shoe, make sure it smells pleasant with Silly Feet's kid's deodorizing foot powder. Tile slim can fit comfortably into a wallet, bag, or phone case.
Both Tile slim and Tile stickers are 100% waterproof, which might not matter if it's in your phone case but it's extra handy for moist environments like a shoe. Tile mate is the also included and is not waterproof, but it has a replaceable battery. You can use the Tile app to ring any of these at any time. Never lose your phone, keys, or kids!
Esky doesn't come with a cool app. You simply push a color-coded button and that causes that colored transceiver to beep. It's admittedly not as high-tech, but it is a very cheap option and sometimes a beep is enough. You can use it to find absolutely anything. Sneaky cats? Vanishing keys? Even just cheating at a game of hide and seek! Please note: Silly Feet does not condone cheating at hide and seek or any other children's game.
GPS Tracking Children
GPS tracking is the big leagues. If you've got teenagers or allow your children to walk to and from school, this is likely the option you should go with. GPS tracking has no range limitation. The tracker itself is a bit bigger than Bluetooth counterparts, but still small enough that it's easy to hide.
Place it in the sole of a shoe, sew it into a bag, or just get bold and clip it on a keychain. These products do require a monthly subscription fee, but you truly can't put a price on peace of mind. Here are some of our favorite GPS trackers:
Small, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive Tracki is what I'd suggest to anyone asking about a GPS device. It works worldwide and has multiple settings depending on how often you require the GPS data to update.
Battery will last 2-3 days if it's updating in real-time, but you can set it to update a certain number of times per day which can take the battery life to 30 days. Very customizable, and very cool.
These watches are amazing and they can absolutely do it all. Use them to call, text, play games, or do more mundane things like telling the time. Of course, you can also use it as a GPS tracking device. A security device that's hidden in plain sight is always a good idea. I'm sure once their friends see it they'll clamber to get one of their own.
Heck, I might consider picking one up for myself. It does require a SIM card and data plan of its own, but it's a small price to pay. The data speeds are also pretty unimpressive which might be a deal breaker for some. The way I see it this watch serves one purpose, and that is knowing that my kids are where they're supposed to be at all times.