Trackers for children may not yet be as commonplace as they are for adults, but perhaps they should be. Childhood obesity is a serious problem. In the US, nearly a third of youths are overweight or obese.
Fitness trackers for kids motivate your child to move more by creating a sense of achievement, turning fitness into a fun game and encouraging healthy competition. By teaching your children about their activity levels, they help to make fitness a habit, not a chore. Kids learn about the benefits of movement and activity, which makes it more likely they will stay fit long into their adult lives.
On top of all of this you can be sure that using a fitness trackers will be excellent for you as a parent. You will know when to reward effort, and when to push for more, just by glancing at the stats.
Essential reading: Top 10 fitness trackers for kids
Fitbit is the global leader in wearables sales. There is a reason its trackers sell so well. They are simple to use, reliable, look smart, provide great vitals statistics and have a great app behind them.
The company has recently introduced the Fitbit Ace, its first fitness tracker for children. But some of the company’s other wearables can be used by kids as well. And if you have a Fitbit yourself, this means you can promote a bit of friendly competition by adding the whole family as friends in the app. Encouraging one another is a great way to stay motivated. Who knows, it might get you moving more as well!
This is an Alta lookalike that is specifically designed for kids 8 and older. The showerproof device automatically tracks steps, active minutes, sleep and provides encouragement to be active. It has up to 5 days of battery life and comes in two vibrant colours.
Because it has an OLED tap display, your kid can see their progress in real time. The tracker dishes out rewards for moving with celebratory messages and fun, collectible badges.
Fitbit has introduced a new family account which allows parents to safeguard their kids’ privacy and stay on top of their activity. The Parent view in the Fitbit app lets you navigate between your view and your kid’s view to check on activity and progress. It also provides you with a means to manage who your children connect with and what information they see on the OLED display.
The Ace is a one size fits all affair. It is meant for wrists measuring between 125mm and 161mm in length. The width of the tracker is only 15mm.
Zip is Fitbit’s cheapest fitness tracker, essentially a pedometer. And lets face it, kids break stuff so your are not going to want to splash out lots of cash on something that may get damaged a few months down the line.
The gadget is as discreet or as invisible as you want it to be, and can be worn as a watch, in your kid’s pocket or on a belt. The little wearable monitors steps, distance, calories burned and syncs everything to your computer or smartphone. Any metric can be tapped to show historical data, and weekly totals.
The wearable is very rugged and has a silicone clip and is rain, splash and sweat-proof. The battery doesn’t require charging and will last up to six months. Because it has a small screen, your kid can see their progress in real time.
If you are after a hassle-free, simple pedometer, this is the one to go for.
Fitbit One is also a belt-clip/carry on activity tracker that goes a bit further than Zip. In addition to tracking steps, distance and calories burned, Fitbit One measures stairs climbed and sleep quality.
While Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip were novel and innovative back in 2012 when they were released, these days the metrics they track are fairly standard. However, if you are looking for something basic to measure your kid’s activity they are reliable and excellent value for money.
Fitbit Flex 2
The Flex 2 is the company’s slimmest tracker yet and for the first time for a Fibit device is water resistant. Which means your kids will be fine wearing the device in the shower, pool or ocean. Flex 2 even tracks pool swims including laps, duration and calories burned.
The second generation device is 30% smaller than the original model and features a removable core unit and interchangeable slim, classic fitness bands in seven colors. This is great for kids as you do not want them wearing something bulky on their wrist. A simple LED display uses color-coded lights to show progress towards a daily goal, and keeps your kid connected with call and text notifications.
This is a fully fledged fitness tracker. While it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, it will cover fitness tracking basics including automatic exercise tracking, reminders to move and personalised weekly exercise goals.
The wearable can be worn in a number of ways due to its removable core.
Fitbit Alta HR
More expensive than other devices on this list, the Alta HR is what Fitbit calls the “world’s slimmest” wrist-worn tracker with a continuous heart rate sensor. Until now, continuous heart-rate tracking has only been available in Fitbit’s larger devices. However, the company has developed a new chip that reduces the size and number of components needed by 25%.
In addition to tracking everything you can imagine, the gadget also benefits from Fitbit’s advanced sleep features. ‘Sleep Stages’ uses accelerometer and heart rate data to more accurately estimate how long you spend in Light, Deep, and REM sleep stages each night.
And lets not forget the cool factor. There is one area in which kids will always naturally compete: who has the best toys. Even into the teenage years this can continue with more of a focus on gadgets and accessories. Make sure that you give your kids the best start at fitness by getting them the coolest and funkiest fitness trackers. It will make them the envy of all of their friends at school, which in turn will motivate them to use and show off the fitness trackers even more.
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