Keeping an eye on your little ones can be difficult at times but modern technology has made the job a bit easier. There are now a wide range of safety wearables that are specifically designed for kids. Some use radio-waves and those are great for short distance monitoring. Others are more sophisticated and use a GPS signal to pinpoint exactly on a smartphone map the location of your child.
Essential reading: The best fitness trackers for kids
By using these lightweight devices, parents can stay connected with their children throughout the day. While it all may all sound a little Big Brother-ish, it is an interesting use of technology to give parents peace of mind. We imagine these devices will be particularly handy for kids who are just starting to get into new routines, like attending a new school or walking around independently for the first time without their mum or dad.
To help you make an educated choice, we have compiled our pick of locators and GPS trackers for kids safety. Each device includes a separate set of features and a unique price tag. We recommend considering everything before making a final decision.
Yepzon touts itself as the simplest wearable GPS locator in the world. With this little device you can keep pets, small children and things safe.
The waterproof device can be attached anywhere, for example to clothes, belongings or pets. With a smart Nordic design , the locator has no buttons and therefore cannot be turned off by mistake. That’s why its so safe. It can also keep going for weeks without being charged.
To use, download the Yepzon app, activate the GPS locator with your smartphone, choose a name for your Yepzon device, and locate. You can share the access with family members, friends or care givers.
It is worth noting, in addition to the purchase price there is an on-going fee. Six months of free usage (30Mb) is included with every purchase. After the free usage, you pay $4.95 per month (5Mb).
Although not strictly a wearable, we felt the KidsConnect GPS phone deserved a place on this list. This smartphone for children is a great all in one safety solution that offers a host of features.
The device is equipped with GPS/LBS Location which allows real time tracking via the Android or iOS App or on any web enabled device. You can also see where you kids have been via the location history feature.
The SOS function, when activated will send a text message with the location to up to 4 cell phone numbers (or a help center) and then it will auto-dial the numbers until one is answered. For additional safety, you can send a text message to the phone and within a minute the phone will call back without activating the screen allowing you to monitor the kid’s surroundings via live audio.
Just like most devices on this list, you will also find a GeoFencing feature that allows you to set a predetermined area and receive an alert if the phone enters or leaves the area.
If you don’t believe us, check the Amazon ratings. The phone is currently averaging an impressive 4.3 out of 5 stars.
KidGPS is a real-time GPS location tracker that pretty much covers all the bases in terms of essential safety features. Quick to setup and easy to use, the device lets you find the location of your child, anytime, anywhere, from your smartphone or tablet. KidGPS uses a nationwide, reliable cellular network to pinpoint your child’s location.
Only for use into the US for now, the rugged little gadget can be attached multiple ways. It features a a built-in Help button, enabling your little ones to instantly alert you of their location in scary situations. You can also check-up on them via the on-demand location feature.
Customized Zones allow you to receive push notifications when your child leaves or arrives at common locations like home or school. For added safety, you share access to your child’s location with trusted adults, or revoke their access at the press of a button.
Tinitell was created by Mats Horn in Stockholm, who came up with the idea back in 2012. To obtain funds, he launched a project on Kickstarter which eventually raised more than $60,000. The device combines a voice-recognition wrist phone with live map monitoring features.
The rugged rubberised design is great for playtime. Instead of a delicate screen, Tinitell features a single button in the middle, and a plus and minus button on the side. The watch uses voice recognition to allow children to call one of 12 pre-assigned phone contacts. These are pre-programmed into your app, so you can choose who your child is able to talk to. For example, if a child presses the button and says ‘dad’, the watch will call the pre-assigned number linked to that particular voice label.
While you’ll have to buy your own separate micro SIM card, Tinitell wrist phones are also fitted with GPS, Wifi and mobile mast technology, so that you can see at a glance exactly where your child is. More advanced features are controlled by you via the accompanying smartphone app, which can be used to see the location of your children.
While the watch is not completely waterproof, it is splash proof and can withstand quick dips in water. All in all, this is a great little gadget for parents who want voice connection with their children without the bells and whistles of more sophisticated products.
The Weenect system is comprised of a 6cm water-resistant tracker, protective pouch and a USB charger. Due to its small size it can easily fit in a bag or pocket.
The device gives your kids the means to alert you of any problem by pressing the SOS button. They can even use the tracker to phone you. Like most other kids safety gadgets, Weenect allows you to set up “area zones”. You will then receive a smartphone alert when their child has arrived or left a designated zone.
Tracking can be performed using a live map, a compass with distance countdown or by holding your smartphone up. Assuming you’re pointing the phone’s camera in the right direction, a little icon pops up on the screen showing you the child’s whereabouts.
Weenect has a seven day battery life, can be used in more than 68 countries globally and uploads location data each and every minute. This makes it a pretty reliable option whether kids are down at the park or playing at the beach while on holiday. It works in all of Europe plus a few outposts, including Korea, Madagascar, Australia, Ghana, India and Malaysia.
My Buddy Tag is a bluetooth enabled device that helps parents keep their children safe in a number of different ways. The little gadget provides an out of range alert; water safety alert (to help prevent accidental drowning); panic alarm; and personal ID to help reunite a lost child with the parents.
There are various designs to choose from and multiple ways to wear the device. You can even remove the round tracker from the wristband and place in a pocket or tie to a shoelace.
An added safety feature is an email alert with ‘Last Seen Location’ feature. This sends you an email with the date, the time, and last known map location (when the child wearing Buddy Tag is totally out of the bluetooth range from the phone). It is worth nothing, the range for the device is 40 feet indoors, and 80-120 feet outdoors, so it is limited.
If you have several children, you can track them simultaneously and identify each tag by name using the smartphone app.
Pocket Finder is a great solution for families with school-age children who may need constant or special supervision.
This pocket-sized GPS tracker helps you accurately locate and keep track of your little ones by relaying mapped coordinates of their location to the app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can view updated locates as quickly as every 2 minutes.
The device also features a unique “tap alert,” which allows children to send an SOS message by tapping the device three times on hard surface, as well as an accelerometer that alerts parents when a pre-set speed is exceeded.
If your child is prone to removing or breaking wearables, the PocketFinder is about as accident-proof as wearables come. The rugged location device that can be worn on the wrist or dropped in a backpack or pocket, and it boasts a battery life of up to four days.
PocketFinder is an excellent choice for those who travel abroad. They offer both a domestic (United States, Canada and Mexico) monthly service plan for $12.95, as well as an international plan for $29.95.
The QQ Watch is a wearable phone and locator for kids that can make and receive calls easily. Add up to 5 family members and 16 friends via the app. With Wechat mode, a child can make friends via “People Nearby”.
The device uses a unique blend of GPS, GSM, WiFi, G-sensor and Camera to allow parents to locate their child, both indoor and out. By opening the app, you can see your child’s location on a map at anytime. For multiple children using multiple devices, simply create a separate profile for each child and you can keep an eye on everyone on a single map.
In case of an emergency, your child can press the SOS button. You can also set up safety zones or virtual radius around a location, such as home, school or a friend’s house. Family members will receive notifications when your child steps are outside these designated areas.
There are two separate versions of the watch – an EU Version and a US Version. The EU version works in most countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Oceania and Asia (apart from Japan, South Korea). The US Version works in USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and some American countries.