Where do you think You’re Going Buster?
Top GPS trackers of 2018 Reviewed
One of the biggest worries for parents is that their children will get lost — either they will intentionally go away from where they are supposed to be (school, soccer practice, daycare) or someone with bad intentions will take them away. These days you can keep track of your phone, your car, and yourself using GPS and that same option is now available for keeping track of your children. There are many different GPS trackers on the market made specifically for children too young for a smart phone.
A parent looking at these trackers might quickly become overwhelmed with the different options, prices, and features. It’s a good idea to take some time and think about what will work best for your child.
- Is the tracker for short-term use during a trip to an amusement park or a parade?
- Is it for use every single day as the child is at after-school activities?
- Is your child old enough to manually press the emergency button if there is a problem?
- Would the child take off a wrist band and lose it either intentionally or accidentally?
- What is your budget for the device and how much can you afford per month for the service?
Here are six GPS trackers that are overall well-received and well-reviewed. With some effort, you can find a GPS tracker for your child that will fit your needs and keep your child safe. Please realize that these prices can vary, so check out the provided websites for the latest information on sales, discounts, and models.
Angelsense: BEST QUALITY
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This is a specialized tracking system designed for children with disabilities or autism so it has some unique features not included with other GPS trackers. For example, it has a bus tracking system that lets you know when your child is on the school bus and when the bus will arrive at school and at home. You can also talk to your child through a two-way speaker or listen in to what is happening around him or her. This lets you be aware of anyone bullying or abusing him or her.
You can use the phone app to activate an audible alarm on the device, too, in case the child has wandered just a few feet away or is hiding. Angelsense can be attached to the child’s shoe or clothing so he or she can’t remove it, and it has a tamper alert just in case they try. Included with all of this is unlimited mobile and email alerts, unlimited geofencing, and customer support by special needs parents. The device itself is the most expensive of those reviewed today and the data costs are very high compared to other plans.
Base Price: $518.
Monthly Rate: Ranges between 34 to 56 dollars a month depending on the length of your commitment.
Traxplay: BEST PRICE
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Traxplay is a small, non-wearable GPS tracker that can work well for children who will not or cannot keep a wearable on. It is a small device that a parent can slip into a pocket or a backpack. Reviews are consistently positive for the device and the app. You can set up as many geofences as you want, unlimited in quantity or size. You can even set up a schedule so the geofences are only active on certain days during certain hours.
This would work very well for a kid with piano lessons one day a week or visits with a non-custodial parent two weekends a month. You can also check location history for the past 24 hours, so you’ll never miss any unexpected detours. One uncommon feature is that it will work in 100 foreign countries at no extra charge; if you take your child abroad, you’re still covered!
Base Price: $99 but when you purchase it, you sign up for a data plan.
Monthly Rate: Six months is $54 (for a total of $153 with the device), one year is $72 (for a total of $171), and two years is $96 (for a total of $195).
HereO GPS Watch: BEST LOOKING
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This GPS tracker is a true wearable: a kid-friendly watch specifically designed to fit on a child as young as three years of age. The watch comes in bright, kid-friendly colors and looks sort of like an Apple Watch. It has a touch screen, it’s water resistant, and has a battery that lasts up to 48 hours.
The HereO has several unique features including SafeZones for family members, the ability to send communication to all family members with a single click, and the ability to check in with all family members when you arrive at a location. This GPS device also works in many foreign countries, so your little world traveler can be protected both at home and abroad.
Base Price: The watch is $199.00 and comes with a free six months of monitoring.
Monthly Rate: After that initial six months is over, data is $4.95 a month without any long-term contract.
Ambygear: LOWEST PRICE
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The Ambygear/Hawkeye GPS wearable adds another dimension to the child’s smartwatch concept, Challenges and Rewards. Instead of just being a tracker, it is an activity monitor as well. The watch keeps track of steps taken, hours slept, and so on. If you as the parent want to do so, you can set up challenges for the child such as being in bed at a certain time, waking up on time for school, and walking so many steps per day.
When your child completes these challenges, he or she earns rewards such as games on the watch or new features. This motivates the child wearing the watch to be more active, more cooperative with household rules, to sleep with less complaining, and so on. The watch also includes common tracker features such as up to 32 geofences, alerts if the child enters or leaves a geofence, an alert if someone removes the watch from the wrist, and distance alerts.
This watch is also waterproof, which is nice for trips to the pool, beach, or just everyday life. In early 2018, Ambygear merged with Vigilant, so their product availability is currently in a transition state. These new watches offer two-way calling, a feature that wasn’t on the original Ambygear product.
Base Price: Around $120.
Monthly Rate: $10 a month, but if you buy a 6-month block, you get a 10% discount so it’s $54 dollars.
This GPS tracker really does not have many bells and whistles such as two-way calling, texts, or geofences. It simply lets you find your child whether indoors or outdoors. It was purposefully designed to be simple, keeping the device small and light so children are more inclined to wear it and keep it on. However, the phone app notifies you if somebody removes the watch. This is not the sort of device that passively lets you keep track of your child’s day and activities. It is primarily for emergencies. If the child is lost, he pushes the alert button and the app sounds an alarm on your phone. Although this is its only function, it does this very well and has consistently good reviews about the ability to track the location of the child wearing the device. It is waterproof to a depth of about 9 feet.
Base Price: $180 dollars.
Monthly Rate: To use in the US, it would cost between 10-12 dollars a month. This is a European product, so it costs around $8 a month to use in Europe. It does work in any country worldwide where there is a 2G or 3G cellphone network.
It’s hard to imagine how dokiWatch crammed all of these features into a watch sized for children – it truly has all the functionality of an adult smartwatch plus a few extra to make it more fun for children to wear. It has the expected features like an SOS button and GPS tracking, but it also has 2-way video calling, activity tracking, a scheduler, a camera and photo album, and the ability for your child to add friends and chat and text with them. Because of this wide range of features, it is primarily aimed at older children from about 6 and up. It comes in either a bright pink or blue.
Base Price: $199 dollars.
Monthly Rate: This watch requires a SIM card exactly like a cell phone, so you can purchase monthly data through your own cell phone company. The necessary specifications are listed on the website and vary depending on the model of dokiWatch you choose and the features that you want to use.
You no longer have an excuse to wonder where your child is. GPS trackers for children are a great alternative to giving your kid a smartphone to use at a young age. These are affordable, good looking and can be hidden inside a backpack or pocket.
All of these trackers do a great job of informing you where your child is. They can work every day for routine activities or can be temporary for short-term use. Some are meant to be fun for the kids with games and a camera, while others are meant to sit unobtrusively in a backpack so the child barely knows it’s there. With some care, you can choose a device that works for your child and your wallet. Having one of these devices takes at least some worry from a parent’s mind.