The Best GPS Tracking Device For Kids: 10 Parent-Approved Child Safety Products
Real-time location tracking for your kids can be essential in any parent or guardian’s daily life. I’ve had to track my child before with devices such as these and let me tell you, the ability to make sure she got off the school bus on time and at the right place provided the peace of mind I sorely desired. We’ve done the research and compiled this list of the top 10 best GPS trackers for kids! While they are all feature-rich, you will want to check the upfront costs and the monthly subscription price to keep them actively tracking the location history of your loved ones. Still, there should be something in here for everyone’s budget!
Why Parents Should Track Their Child’s Location
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there were over 365,000 missing children reports in the United States in 2020 alone. Scary stuff! From that stat alone you can easily see why there are several motivations why parental control to monitor a child’s location matters. Simple reasons may be that your child skips school or is heading out alone on Halloween for the first time. Running away could also be an issue for parents of children with special needs or troubled teens. Perhaps you’re going to a crowded concert or parade to find your child if they get lost.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfectly safe society, and minor issues like the above may not speak to all the troubles experienced in parenthood. Custody battles have resulted in many instances of kidnapping. Human trafficking is also a significant issue outside and even within the United States. Bad actors are dispersed throughout all levels of society, and we may not be there to protect our children at all times.
The ability to check in on your child’s real-time location data cannot be overstated. Your peace of mind and the safety of your children is of utmost importance.
Jiobit – Best Overall Child GPS Tracking Device For Kids
The Jiobit is also a superior GPS-tracking device for children with sensory sensitivities. Included with your purchase are clip systems for a variety of mounting options. From attaching this mini GPS tracker to your kids’ shoes, backpack, or pocket, your child won’t notice this small piece of realtime location tracking equipment monitoring their every movement!
Battery life should be one of the foremost considerations when choosing a kid’s GPS tracker to monitor a child’s locations throughout their day. Even with such a small size, the Jiobit GPS tracker’s battery lasts 7 to 10 days, making it ideal for tracking for over a week or more.
Check price and our full review on Jiobit GPS by CLICKING HERE!
Verizon Gizmo Disney Watch – Most Preferred Among Children
With real-time location updates, safe zones, an SOS call button function, and auto-answer two-way voice calls, Verizon’s Gizmowatch is also a top choice for parents and guardians. The battery lasts about a day and a half with constant use or around 3 days on standby, so remember to charge it up whenever your kids are heading to bed. It’s only available from Verizon, so keep this in mind when searching for the right device to monitor your kid’s location history.
Check out PC Mag‘s review on the Gizmo watch by CLICKING HERE!
Apple AirTag – Best iPhone GPS For Kids
Apple has done wonders with its location devices, and the Apple AirTag is one of the smallest GPS trackers out there! There are several ways to make it into a GPS tracker for kids, such as a bracelet that also functions as a poppy toy. If you need to be a bit more covert, don’t worry! This mini GPS tracker weighs next to nothing and can easily be slipped into a backpack, teddy bear, or jacket pocket. The standby battery lasts up to a year, securing your belongings and your children’s safety for months of use!
In truth, this Apple device is a Bluetooth tracker rather than your standard GPS tracker that uses cellular service. Instead of utilizing cell towers to pinpoint a location, the smart tag will ping against any iPhones in the area to update its position. This feature, and the trilling tone it produces to help you find it, has made the AirTag an excellent tool for finding your keys or wallet. It also uses a directional arrow to direct you straight to where the smart tags rest, making them a fantastic child’s GPS locator in a crowded area.
Check out the Apple AirTag review by TechRadar by CLICKING HERE!
Family1st GPS – Best For Portability
Here, we’re reviewing a service more than a single GPS tracking device. The Family1st GPS trackers offer an incredible platform for realtime tracking of the movements of a kid, pet, or teenager. Family1st has portable battery-powered units that can fit underneath a vehicle with a magnetic case or be carried around and activated by an SOS button by seniors or children with special needs and OBD-2 models that plug into any modern vehicle with no need for batteries.
By now, it’s pretty standard for GPS trackers to monitor location history and provide boundary notifications for instances where a teen skips school or takes the family car outside of usual areas. However, where the Family1st GPS trackers and devices platform shines is in the ability to provide speeding reports and help you find the lowest gas price in the area. You may receive these alerts in an email, on the platform, or directly to your phone with text messaging notifications.
Check price and read customer reviews on Amazon for Family1st GPS by CLICKING HERE!
Samsung SmartThings Tracker- Best For Indoor & Outdoor
Kids’ smartwatches are becoming ubiquitous, but a smart watch for kids can significantly increase screen time. Covertly tracking a child may be the answer if you’re a screen-time-conscious parent or guardian.
The Samsung SmartThings Tracker is a mini GPS tracker that can be adhered to a kid’s shoe tongue or stuffed into their bookbag without realizing it’s there. And, unlike Apple’s air tag, this unit is a realtime LTE GPS tracking device rather than a Bluetooth tracker. It requires a monthly subscription, but this personal GPS tracker has one of the lowest monthly costs in this list of trackers for kids at $5 a month!
The small size of the Samsung SmartThings Tracker is ideal for pets, too! The tiny waterproof and dustproof frame can easily fit onto your pet’s dog collar or a cattle collar to keep an eye on their realtime location, indoors or out. The battery lasts an average of 4 to 5 days, which is considerable for such a tiny device!
Check out a full review by CNET on this tracking device for kids by CLICKING HERE!
Garmin Bounce – Best Smartwatch GPS Tracker For Kids
From the manufacturers of the famous GPS navigator, the Garmin Bounce is another smart watch for kids that doubles as a fitness tracker and kids’ GPS tracker. It’s a tracker watch designed to limit children’s screen time while allowing them to contact their families through text and voice messages.
One significant upside to this GPS tracker for kids is the open-source ability to use a SIM card from any cellular carrier. So, unlike Verizon’s GizmoWatch or T-Mobile’s SyncUp Kids Watch, you can use a SIM card from AT&T, Mint Mobile, or the Walmart Straight Talk plans in this tracker watch to keep this personal GPS tracker providing realtime location updates.
Check out a full review by The Verge who wrote on smartwatches for kids by CLICKING HERE!
Geozilla GPS Tracker – Smallest Kids GPS
The Geozilla GPS tracker for kids is another super small device utilizing cellular data. These tiny location trackers are ideal as a dog GPS tracker or for slipping into a kid’s shoe. A built-in SOS button can alert you if your children experience an emergency or allow good samaritans that find your dog to help you locate them.
The upfront costs of the Geozilla personal GPS tracker are much lower than others, like the Tracki Mini GPS tracker or the Relay Kids Smartphone. The monthly subscription is only $19, and the monthly costs include the price of the device, the cellular service, and the app membership fee.
Check out Geozilla mobile app reviews on the Google Play store by CLICKING HERE!
AngelSense – Best Kid’s GPS With Two-Way Voice Call
One thing that parents of special needs children worry about is the possibility of their child getting lost. Adding something new to the environment or asking them to wear a new gizmo watch that doubles as a GPS tracking device can be tricky. The children will likely play around with it, click buttons, or find some way to lose it.
The manufacturers behind AngelSense GPS trackers had these matters in mind when they developed their special device to track your child.
To keep the device in place, AngelSense GPS trackers have a locking mechanism that unlocks with a unique key. Locking this GPS tracking device on a sensory-sensitive child’s pant leg or shirt will ensure that it stays with them and doesn’t get lost.
Bullying by other students and even teachers are unfortunate realities that many parents deal with all too often. If you suspect this behavior from those around your child, you can activate the two-way speakerphone on AngelSense GPS trackers to listen in and get an idea of what’s happening. If your child is outside of known areas, you can use this feature to speak with your child to calm them down or call out for help.
Check out a comparison between Angelsense and Jiobit on My Autism Team by CLICKING HERE!
OurPact Family Locator – Best Mobile App For Tracking Kids
The OurPact Family Locator is an application for your kids’ smartphones that enables you to limit their screen time, block text messages and adult web content, and give a location update whenever you need. OurPact is available for both Androids and Apple devices, so you don’t need to worry about having a particular carrier to get up and running.
With a premium subscription, you’ll be able to monitor activities across up to 20 phones! Having 18 kids sounds like a hassle, but maybe you can use it to monitor a set of business phones or track a fleet of company vehicles.
Check out an OurPact Family Locator review on Tom’s Guide by CLICKING HERE!
SyncUP Kids Watch – Best For Affordable Monthly Fee
When you sign up for the watch plan with T-Mobile, you’re almost stealing this tracker watch. Right now, you can get this $174.99 device for monthly costs totaling a whopping $0 for 24 months! That’s a monthly fee that I can feel comfortable with.
The distracting features that increase screen time for kids are really paired down on the SyncUp tracker watch. It comes with a camera and can update children on their daily chores and task, but parents will love the “school mode” that shuts down the most distracting elements of a kid’s smartwatch.
Check out a SyncUP Kids Watch review on Android Central by CLICKING HERE!
Check out our list of the 5 best GPS trackers for teenage drivers!
What Is The Best GPS For Tracking Kids?
The best GPS tracker for kids may depend on your particular use case. No device may tick all the boxes on your list, but you should be able to find something worthwhile on this list of the 1o best location trackers for parental control and child safety.
One of the most remarkable features of devices like the AngelSense is the ability to auto-answer two-way voice calls that let you listen in on the kids’ environment. For investigations of bullying, nothing can be more helpful.
If your child already has their own smartphone, the OurPact application can be a parent or guardian’s best friend. Limiting screen time and encouraging outside play are easier if you can lock down the phone and eliminate distractions!
Depending on your situation, you may opt for a tracker watch or a small device suited for covert placement under a car or in a child’s backpack. Whatever your choice, your peace of mind is the ultimate goal.
GPS Tracking Device For Kids – Frequently Asked Questions
Can These Devices Help Me Track My Autistic Child’s Location?
Sensory sensitivity is only one issue that concerns parents of children with special needs. Unlike the other GPS tracking devices in this list, only AngelSense is designed with this particular issue in mind. It has a locking feature to pin itself to a child’s pant leg or jacket where it cannot be removed, save by a special key kept by the parent.
Is There A GPS Tracker For My Kid’s Shoes?
The Apple AirTag or the Samsung SmartThings Tracker may be the best solution for placing a kid’s GPS tracker in their shoes. The reason? The air tag devices are super small and offer multiple days battery life, making the devices perfect to track your child. Location data of your child can also be accessed right from your smartphone!
Does The GPS Tracker With Emergency Button Have 911-Intimation?
The Jiobit GPS tracker can dial 911 emergency services directly with a double click of the SOS button. Typically, users can customize the panic button associated with GPS trackers to call any number set by the user. However, please remember that first responders must be available to react to actual emergencies. If a child fidgets with their tracker and regularly hits the SOS button, you’ll be on the hook for the time lost by emergency responders, and you could experience hefty fines. It’s best to keep your number as the emergency contact so you can determine the required response level.
How Accurate Are Personal GPS Trackers For Children?
GPS trackers often utilize a triangulation effect between at least three cellular towers to pinpoint their real-time location with an accurate location within a few meters. This may not always be ideal if a child is lost in a crowded area like a parade, so doubling up with a Bluetooth tracker like an Apple AirTag mini GPS tracker hidden in a kid’s pocket is recommended. As Bluetooth works within a shorter range, it tends to be more accurate, and the AirTag interfaces with an iPhone to provide a directional arrow that will lead you to your kid.
Can I Use A Watch Kids Tracker For Child Safety?
Smartwatches for kids like Verizon’s GizmoWatch, the Garmin Bounce, or the Apple Watch SE are great ways for parents to use a kid tracker their children will actually want to use. Kids’ smartwatches like the Garmin Bounce and Verizon’s GizmoWatch are designed to limit screen time. The Apple Watch SE is an older model that will be supported for many years to come, so it’s great for use as a kid’s watch with a GPS locator and two-way voice call features.
How Did We Choose These GPS Devices For Kids?
Some honorable mentions are the Tack GPS Tracker and the Xplora X5 Play tracker watch for kids, but to make it on our list of the 10 best GPS trackers for kids, we looked at how many days of battery life each one could reach and the ease of use the parent or guardian would experience. Many offer text message alerts for when the kid’s locating device puts them outside typical safety zones like their school or family member’s home. The interval between each location update can also affect the accuracy: some will update as quickly as once a minute, while others may update only once every 10 minutes to an hour. Keep this last point in mind when deciding how accurately you need your kid’s GPS tracker to be.
The upfront costs and price of the monthly subscription are also factors for many searching for that peace of mind that comes with a kid’s locating device, and we tried to include something for everyone’s budget.
Many of the same GPS tracking devices we chose as the best GPS trackers for kids are also usable as a dog GPS tracker or an asset tracker for your luggage or shipment. These GPS trackers and devices often come in a small form factor. Still, others may rely on external cellular devices like an iPhone for the Apple AirTag or either an Apple or Android device for the OurPact application.
Whatever you’re looking for in a GPS locator, these GPS trackers and devices will ensure your ability to check in and alert you in case something goes wrong.