All parents know the familiar clench of fear when they realize their child is missing. Whether you have a toddler who dashes away in a department store or an older child who doesn’t return home from school on time, uncertainty about your child’s location can be a terrifying experience.
Fortunately, technology has made it so that these moments can be a thing of the past. Over the last few decades, GPS trackers have become more sophisticated and portable, making it possible for parents to keep track of their kids and find them easily when they wander.
However, the abundance of available personal GPS options can be overwhelming. While GPS trackers all work under the same basic principles, different features such as battery life, water-resistance, alerts, and more can quickly lead to analysis paralysis. For something as crucial as your child’s safety, you want to invest in the best—but how can you be certain which one is right for your family?
The information in this article is here to help you sift through all the information out there and decide what will be the best fit for your family. Let’s start by asking a few questions that will narrow down the options:
Empowered Parenting: Why do you want a GPS tracker for your kid?
What are you looking for in your kid’s GPS tracker? Are you taking a family trip to an amusement park and want to make sure you can keep track of your curious kid, who is prone to wandering into crowds? Do you have a kid who walks home from school by themselves who you want to keep an eye on? Do you need to make sure a babysitter or extended family member is only taking your child to places you’ve approved of? Do you have a child with special needs who has a tendency to wander away from caregivers and safe spaces? Or, are you simply looking for something to keep an eye on your child so you can be confident knowing where they are? Identifying your reasons for getting a GPS tracker can help you select the features that will best serve your family.
How long do you need the tracker to be on?
Most GPS trackers have at least a few days of battery life before they need to be charged again. Often, the length of battery life is dependent on how often the person wearing the GPS tracker moves. If they are moving around frequently to different locations, the battery life will drain more quickly.
If you need the GPS to track your child’s walk home from school or after-school activities, you will be able to recharge the battery frequently and don’t need to emphasize battery life as heavily as you choose your tracker. However, if your child is going away on a trip without you or camping without access to a charger, you may want to invest in something that will last longer without a charge.
How hardy do you need the GPS tracker to be?
If you’re going to an amusement park with rides where your child might get wet, you’ll want a water-resistant tracker. If your kid has a tendency to be hard on other devices like phones and tablets, you might want to look into something with a protective case for functioning after a drop. If your kid loses items easily, you’ll want to look for a tracker or case with the ability to clip on to them so they’re less likely to leave it lying around.
What is your child willing to wear?
Depending on their age, your kid might be resistant to carrying a GPS tracker with them. To combat this, a fun, stylish GPS tracker design or case may appeal more to your child. You might consider letting them select the case. Some trackers can be engraved with initials or an emoji or worn as a necklace or bracelet. Consider your kid’s interests to make it easier to win their compliance.
What kind of information do you need?
Different GPS trackers will notify you of different types of information. Some trackers may connect to an app on your phone, and you can open that app to see your child’s location in real time. Other trackers allow you to set boundaries of where your child is allowed to go (this is called a “geofence”) and will alert you if your child leaves those boundaries. Some even have alarms that will notify you if your child has changed their location—they may have an alarm that goes off each time a child moves outside the geofence or one that gives you hourly summaries of your kid’s movements.
This ties back to our first question: Why do you want a GPS tracker for your child? Your purpose in using this technology will determine what your needs are, and this will allow you to search for the most essential features for your child. As the parent, you know what your family needs and what will be the most helpful for your child’s needs. You know how you can secure their willingness to participate in wearing a tracker and how you can ensure that the GPS tracker will stay in good condition to continue meeting your family’s needs. This device is a tool meant to empower you as a parent and help you keep your kids safe and happy.
Get out there and find the tracker that is going to allow you and your family to feel secure and enjoy your lives! A fantastic option that’s served many families well is Logistimatic’s Pocket Tracker. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly to learn more!