Firstly, we should highlight, if you buy yourself a kid tracker, no you are not immediately slapped with a ‘can’t effectively look after own child’ label. These products have been made to create peace of mind and should they venture off or get a little too competitive with hide and seek, you will always know where to find them. We’ve rounded up the key info on two popular choices including the Gourlay family’s first hand account at trying them out on their recent trip to Central America with their little one Mateo.
We had read something about ‘GPS kid trackers’ and it sparked an interest as we had a big trip coming up. It seemed like a good opportunity to try one out and see how useful they are at keeping your kid safe while travelling. Our three year old son, Mateo, is going through an awkward stage of running off, whether rebelling or simply getting caught up in play with older kids and following wherever they go.
1. Lineable Smartband
The wristbands three key selling points is it’s super affordable price – from £15, year long battery life and resistance to water and dust. It works by syncing with an app on your phone that will alarm if your child has gone further than a defined range. Lineable’s key goal is to make the world a safer place for children. What’s neat about this is that anyone who has the app can be alerted should you be unable to locate your prince or princess, based on their band in the area.
Setting up and pairing with the App is simple and the app is easy to use. The range changes greatly depending on your environment, indoors and outdoors will give different results. The alarm is based on the ability to connect to Bluetooth, therefore there is no ‘range’ setting. We felt that mostly the distance was too far to be helpful and the volume of the alarm was quite quiet, and couldn’t be adjusted.
2. My Buddy Tag
Similar to the Lineable Smartband, My Buddy Tag is a bluetooth-based device that will sync with an app downloaded onto your phone. It too will alert you when your child has gone out of a certain range (which is decided by you depending on how comfortable you are with them venturing), but also will alert you if the band has been submerged in water. The tag has taken into account the little one and has a panic button that can be pushed if they’re feeling a little frightened or uneasy. Plus, it’s coin screw fastener means that the wristband isn’t easy to remove. What makes this bad a little different is the removable tag inside the band, this means it can also be popped in a pocket or rucksack. Priced from £35, it’s slightly more expensive but does have a few more features that parents might find useful.
The alarm can be adjusted from ‘near’ to ‘far’ based on the signal strength. The alarm is very loud. It does have a habit of going off randomly. We were woken a couple of times in a panic when it went off in the middle of the night, with Mateo right beside us!
We felt both tags had equal merits and equal failures…Anyone with a Bluetooth device knows the technology can at times be inconsistent, so when it comes to your child’s safety we didn’t feel much comfort…We felt in principle they are a good idea and perhaps as the technology advances they will have more merit. Let’s see how they develop in the future.
Special thanks to Lewis Gourlay, Abby Warrilow (& Mateo), family travel channel @teo_travels for giving these products a test. Is this a gadget you wouldn’t be able to travel without?
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