For most people, their children represent their most precious relationships and responsibility (on most days anyway 😀). Ensuring their safety is instinctual and imperative. And technology offers some compelling solutions to help extend the reach of your parental safety net.
This is where GPS trackers come in: When children are too young to carry and use their own mobile phones, dedicated GPS tracking devices offer many of the same safety benefits in small yet sophisticated packages. Using GPS tracking for children can provide peace of mind and security—for both you and them.
There are so many situations where GPS tracking can be helpful to you as a parent:
However, GPS tracking for your child does have inherent limitations you should be aware of. Let’s look at each one—from connectivity requirements, size constraints, feature/functionality offerings, convenience, and security.
It is important to note that live GPS tracking requires networks to function. First, for real-time locations, GPS devices must have a relatively clear view of the sky so they can simultaneously connect with multiple GPS satellites. Additionally, sharing their location information requires a connection to communication networks—such as mobile/cellular or WiFi networks—which often accrues service fees. The trackers also have to be physically within range of these networks. Pricing for monthly service plans can vary by feature set and provider.
While the GPS technology itself is relatively small (think the size of a fingernail with circuitry and antenna), the size of a GPS device itself is primarily dictated by battery life. This means that the smaller the device, the shorter the battery life—so if you want longer battery life with less frequent charging, you’ll need a larger device.
GPS devices are designed for very specific purposes; as safety devices for children, some features that may be nice to have (above and beyond just simply tracking) offer benefits to both parents and children. Many parents appreciate the ability to listen in via live audio (both by alert and in stealth mode), and GPS trackers can also include an SOS button that can alert parents in case of an emergency, often using two-way calling. This feature to call out at the press of a button provides another plan of recourse in an emergency.
Another important feature of GPS trackers for kids is for it to be easy to keep with them. This means that the tracker should fit comfortably in a pocket, backpack/purse, worn as a necklace, or it should inconspicuously connect to clothing like a belt loop or hem. You wouldn’t want it easily getting lost or misplaced as it does no good if the GPS tracker is not with your child!
Recent news stories highlight the dangers of any technology, including GPS trackers: if you can see your data online, who else can also access it? Data breaches or hacking of live data streams are a concern for all networked technology and platforms. While there isn’t much you can do as an individual consumer to eliminate data breaches, you should be aware of service providers’ security policies and practices as an important starting point.
Providing your child with a GPS tracker like the Pocket Tracker can nurture a healthy sense of both independence and security for your family. Kids can grow their freedom by going to certain places without needing direct parental supervision, while you can still maintain your confidence knowing the location and safety of your child. You can choose to monitor your children undetected, without them understanding what a tracker is or its implications, but consider being open with them, allowing the use of the tracker and its benefits to empower both the parents and the child.