The world is so much more of a scarier place than when I was growing up. Parents all over feel the same way. We no longer feel like we can just let our children roam free in the neighborhood. I used to ride my bike with my friends all the way to the convenience store down the street or ride myself to the city pool. These days there are threats of predators and accidents that put a huge amount of fear in the hearts of parents everywhere. We don’t even feel safe enough to let our kids ride their bikes or walk to school sometimes.
Luckily technology has advanced to the point where we feel like we can loosen the reigns a little bit if our children have a way to communicate with us when they are away from home. Many choose to do this through the use of a GPS Watch for kids. This is especially true for kids between the ages of 7-12. Some parents aren’t quite ready to purchase a phone for kids in that age range, but they still want to be able to get a hold of their kids when they aren’t at home.
While there are several companies that are starting to offer these devices, they haven’t quite hit mainstream yet, so your options are a bit limited. We’ve rounded up our 3 favorite options though.
LG Gizmo Pal/LG Gizmo Gadget
Unfortunately, these devices are only available through Verizon Wireless at the moment, but this is definitely our #1 pick. The watch serves as a phone to allow phone calls to and from trusted contacts only, and the ability to text those numbers as well. The companion app can give you the location of the device at any time and also allows you to create alerts for when your child arrives at school or home or another pre-selected place.
The service for the device will only cost you $5/month if you add it on to an existing Verizon Wireless plan.
If you aren’t a Verizon Wireless customer, you can pick up a similar device from TickTalk. You can activate the service through the company themselves, or use a T-Mobile SIM card to use the watch. Through TickTalk, the cost will be around $5/month as well. The watch also has an area you can set up for chores so your child can mark of things they need to do during the day. You can send and receive calls from the device, and locate the device. It also checks in from time to time, so you can even see the route your child took to school. There is an SOS button they can hold for 3 seconds that will automatically dial a preset emergency contact.
If you are just looking for GPS features, and don’t need all of the communication features of the above devices, HereO might be a great option for you. The device can give you notifications when your child arrives or leaves designated areas (like school), and you can pull up their location at any given time. Service for this devices is also around $5/month.
A parent’s number one concern almost all the time is whether or not their child is safe. I’m not even sure that goes away when they become adults, but at least while they are young we can still have some peace of mind knowing they are exactly where they are supposed to be.