Kids have a mind of their own. One moment they are peppering you consistently with questions and the next you’re screaming their name trying to find them. Losing your child — even for a minute — can be alarming. Not to mention, having your kids go anywhere by themselves can be more worrisome to parents. Thankfully, knowing where your children are at all times is easier than ever thanks to technology.
No matter your child’s age, keeping tabs on them can ease your anxieties and worries. Due to the pandemic, your children may not be familiar with the concept of going to and from school. They may also be scared of riding the bus or attending after-school activities. These are all reasons to keep an eye on your child even when you are not physically with them. Keep reading to learn what types of technology are available today to keep track of your kids.
The beauty of smartwatch technology is that it’s always tracking. Similar to your Apple Watch, FitBit, or Garmin, a kids’ smart watch includes GPS-active tracking. This allows you to know where your child is after school, for instance. It doesn’t include all the bells and whistles of typical smartwatches. However, you can program “safe zones” your child frequents, and you’ll be alerted when your child enters or leaves these areas.
Additionally, with a smartwatch for kids, parents can program a few key contacts. This means a child can get in touch with family members when they leave the house. The phone and texting capabilities can be used for emergency situations or to quickly relay something to your child. Think of it as a slimmed-down version of your own smartwatch. It gives you peace of mind without giving your kids another screen to stare at constantly.
Smart tags — like an AirTag, SmartTag, or Tile — are typically used to keep track of items like your phone, wallet, or keys. However, there are options specifically designed to track your children. These tiny monitors can be placed on your kids’ clothing, belt strap, or backpack. It allows you to track your child via a smartphone app, giving you minute-by-minute updates. While there are certainly other smart tag trackers on the market, it’s best to get one designed especially for children. These durable but discreet tags are meant to stand up to all of your child’s rambunctious movements.
There are several brands that offer smart tags for children. Each offers different perks, such as custom geographical fences, long battery life, and a SOS button. Keep in mind that many of these smart tags require monthly or yearly subscriptions. In addition, when selecting a smart tag, be sure to read other parent reviews as well. You may also want to let your child’s teacher or nanny know what the device is, so they don’t accidentally remove it.
If your child is a bit older and you’ve already given in their pleas for a smartphone, then this may be the easiest solution. There are multiple child-tracking apps that can offer real-time location tracking. This can be beneficial when your child isn’t answering your calls or text messages. Find My iPhone for Apple or Find My Device for Google are a couple of options to consider.
In addition to tracking location, many parental control apps can also monitor your child’s phone behavior. This can be anything from limiting screen time to monitoring their social media. Some of these apps can provide discreet monitoring, so your child isn’t aware. However, it can benefit you and your child to discuss why you are tracking their location and phone usage. An open conversation can be productive and help your child better understand your point of view.
You may be surprised by this last suggestion, but it can actually be very beneficial. Imagine if you and your family are headed to an amusement park. While everyone may be excited at first, it can quickly turn to panic when your youngest wanders off. Your child is too young to do anything but cry, but you may not be able to hear them amongst all the noise. These are the days when a temporary tattoo with your cell phone number comes in handy.
This low-tech version is certainly not a permanent solution. However, if you are responsible for multiple little ones, then it can provide peace of mind. If a temporary tattoo isn’t realistic, consider putting a sticker on their clothing or having them wear an ID bracelet. Any of these options can be smart choices when it comes to keeping your kids safe. Just remember there is no GPS tracking with this simple method, so you may need to be extra attentive.
Keeping your child safe is of the utmost importance. While you don’t want to have a leash on your children forever, you do want to ensure their safety. No matter what type of tracking solution you decide on, know that any type of monitoring can be worthwhile. It gives you a sense of control without keeping such a tight rein on your kids. And because your little ones won’t be so little forever, knowing they’re safe and reachable can ease your mind.
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