The best kids trackers: Using wearables for child safety

Never lose track of your little ones again with GPS trackers for kids big and small

Need to catch that sprog? Keeping track of children is becoming much easier thanks to kids wearables. While there are plenty of smartwatches for kids on the market, you need GPS for tracking. With a GPS system you can pinpoint the exact position of the person you're looking for using a map on your smartphone or tablet.

Real life test: Parents and kids test out three GPS trackers

Some models also offer geo-fencing, an electronic barrier drawn on a digital map which, when breached, immediately alerts the parent or guardian. There are also devices that include cellular connectivity so kids can make an SOS call to a designated number from their smartwatch.

These are the best kid trackers you can buy...


best kids trackers

The Tinitell is two things: a kids GPS tracker with live map monitoring using a smartphone app and a water-resistant, voice-recognition wrist phone. Designed in Sweden, the rubberised watch works with any micro SIM card and in any country bar Japan, South Korea and North Korea.

The gist is simple: When a wandering kid is lost or needs to make contact with someone, he or she simply pushes the front fascia button and speaks the name of the recipient. Voila, call connected. It is, to all intents and purposes, a genuine standalone phone, and arguably the smallest one on the planet. It's also a great Star Trek-style communication gizmo for adventurous kids. Available in coral, aqua, charcoal and indigo.


The Gator

The best kids trackers: Using wearables for child safety

One of the newest kids' watches on the scene, The Gator is a UK version of a popular Chinese children's smartwatch. If communication is your main concern, it offers 12 month or rolling contracts for its multi-network plans that use whichever signal is strongest. So you should always be in contact with your kids.

There's also GPS and features like geo-fencing so you can set up areas such as home, school and park with alerts once they leave these perimeters. The watch itself weighs 40g, is splashproof, has a bunch of physical buttons and has a four day battery life. Available in blue and pink, natch.



The best kids trackers: Using wearables for child safety

The AngelSense is one of the more popular and beloved kids GPS trackers out there, and for good reason. This thing is packed with features. You can see your kids routes and transit speed, you'll get notified when they're coming home late or if they're in a new place and you can listen in to their environment.

One of the newer features is AngelCall, which will allow you to instantly call and speak to your child if you need to. On top of all of that, AngelSense is available on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers, making it quite accessible in the US and Canada. One potential caveat, all these extra services will cost you. It's $45 a month for service, then $9 for AngelCall and ListenIn each.


Filip 2

best children fitness tracker

The Filip 2 offers two way communication; this time using a 2G connection, to five pre-assigned numbers. The stored numbers can also send messages to the device although there's no function for the user to reply.

With built in GPS, GSM and Wi-Fi, the Filip 2 also acts as a tracking device with parents able to locate their children using the companion iOS or Android app. If you have more than one kid, the revamped Filip app allows for multiple profiles to be created.

The GPS sensor extends to geo-fencing features, which Filip calls 'Safezones'. Up to five of these can be set up, meaning that you can be alerted everytime your little rascal strays away from a designated area. You'll need a $10 contract with AT&T.

$149.99, | Amazon


best kids smartwatch

The HereO is the first GPS tracking device cleverly disguised to look like a cute, colourful watch so little ones can show off and tell the time while you keep tabs on their whereabouts via your iOS or Android device.

Simply sync the watch with the free HereO app on your mobile device and a map pops up displaying your kid's precise location. If lost, the child can also send a panic alert using a series of simple commands.

HereO also allows you to set a geo-fenced safe zone so that when your child crosses the boundary, an alert is sent to your device. There's also a monthly subscription of around $5.

$199, | Amazon


best children fitness tracker

Lineable is one of the most affordable options at just $13. That's probably because the Bluetooth-powered location device is engineered to last approximately one year from the time of purchase. The silicon based minimalist design is dust-proof and water resistant plus holds a no-charging-required battery life. All this makes it an obvious choice for parents who want a simple, bare-bones location device without spending a lot of money.

The range of the device is only 65 - 98 feet but what makes it stand out is that anyone with the Lineable app who is within range of the device can assist parents in locating their missing child using what the company calls "Crowdsource GPS."

$12.99, | Amazon

My Buddy Tag

best children fitness tracker

The Buddy Tag also uses Bluetooth instead of GPS making it another affordable option. While you can use it in as a normal kid tracker, it's also touted as a device that helps prevent accidental drowning. There's a panic alarm for the child to parents if they're in a threatening situation along with a personal ID to help reunite a lost child with the parents.

The wearable is waterproof and the wristband portion comes in a variety of designs. You can purchase disposable silicone wristbands, as well as Velcro or terry cloth wristbands for regular use.

Just like other Bluetooth trackers, the range for the device limited at 40 feet indoors and 80-120 feet outdoors. It's not on the same level as GPS trackers but if you're shopping on a budget, the Buddy isn't a bad choice.

$39.99, | Amazon


The best kids trackers: Using wearables for child safety

The PocketFinder uses GSM and GPS, and while it looks like a key fob for your car, it's rugged and won't break easily, making it the perfect little stowaway to keep track of your kid.

The small, rectangular tracker also allows you to create your own custom geofences, so you can keep track of when your kids leave or enter one of them via alerts. There's also a button that they can press to send you an SOS alert.

The US, Canada and Mexico plan is only $12.95 per month while the international plan is $29.95.


Weenect Kids

best children fitness tracker

The excellent Weenect system is comprised of a 6cm water-resistant tracker, protective pouch and a USB charger.

It also comes with one month of free tracking. Tracking can be performed using a live map, a compass with distance countdown or, get this, augmented reality. Yup, just hold your smartphone up (iOS or Android) and, assuming you're pointing the phone's camera in the right direction, a little icon pops up on the screen showing you the child's whereabouts.

The Weenect Kids tracker also comes with an SOS button and, for older kids, a 'zone entry/exit' function that alerts the parent when he or she has returned home. It works in all of Europe plus a few outposts, including Korea, Madagascar, Australia, Ghana, India and Malaysia. Top choice.


Amber Alert GPS Smart Locator

best kids trackers

Amber Alert's pocket-sized GPS unit measures just 7cm and its rechargeable lithium battery runs for up to 40 hours on a single charge. Slip it into your child's pocket and you'll be able to check up on his/her location using either a browser or the accompanying iOS and Andoid app, communicate using the device's two-way voice function, even set up geo fencing boundaries.

But that's just the half of it. No one relishes the idea of living in the same neighbourhood as a sex offender so this clever gizmo also sends the parent or guardian a text or email alert if the child comes within 500 feet of a registered paedophile's home.

And if the little one ever has a panic attack, he or she simply hits the SOS button and a message is sent to the parent and up to ten authorised users. Subscription charges start at $15 per month.

$125, | Amazon

FlashMe Sydney

best kids trackers

This is not so much a tracker as a means of contacting the parent or guardian of a lost child. It's essentially a colourful silicone wristband with a printed QR code that contains the contact details of the child's parent or guardian. FlashMe works on the principal that most strangers are honest and that whoever finds the child will hopefully know what a QR code is.

As so many children under the age of four don't know their address or telephone number, a dirt cheap system like this could help save the day. A variety of other designs, including a pet version, are also available.



best kids trackers

This is far and away the most sophisticated GPS-based tracking system on the market and it used to be one of the most expensive. Now, the price has gone down $99 making it an appealing buy. However, there's still the data plan cost to consider where you can choose from 6 months for $9, 12 months for $6, or 24 months for $4.

The slim 55 x 38mm tag itself is superbly designed and features a built in accelerometer and gyro, a Micro USB charging port and a pre-paid SIM that offers roaming in over 33 countries. The Android/iOS app, too, is head and shoulders above the rest and includes real-time mapping, augmented reality for close proximity searches, geo-fencing and speed alerts.

$99,| Amazon

Shop for recommended GPS tracking watches on Amazon

MyBuddy Tag
MyBuddy Tag

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  • Mckenzie says:

    can the flip 2 watch be used in the UK 

  • mahmoud says:

    Hi there. Does the Filip 2 work in Egypt?

  • ounyai says:

    The Trax device is almost totally useless. We have been through two of them and the battery life does not last a day, this makes the product unlivable and just dangerous to put your expectations in it.

  • Radiohead says:

    The only way to go is Angel sense. The tracking is outstanding and the text and email notifications are priceless. Getting a text within 90 seconds of my child leaving a location is worth every penny. 

    • Harl says:

      100% agree with you. We love the new feature they just developed called late departure notice that lets us know if they missed the bus or if they didn't leave school on time. Sometimes there is a delay at the school for whatever reason and instead of calling everyone in the universe we just call our angelsense and hear what's happening, see it on the map and know not to worry.  

  • Radiohead says:

    The only way to go is Angel sense. The tracking is outstanding and receiving texts and emails after your child leaves or enters a location is priceless

  • Fatinallam says:

    hi, I have a son with Prada Willi syndrome, and need something he cannot take off his hand. Would you have anything that is suitable for a 7 year old?

    • Patricia says:

      Hi, I just came across the Loc8u which has locator devices for adults and children that have band that cannot be removed without a special tool. Good luck!

      • wflather says:

        We have used the Lok8u system. System uses AT&T coverage; the device gets poorer reception than an AT&T phone. Once in an alert status, the battery went dead after 1 1/2 hr. Since the battery had such short life, we could not leave the watch on the child. The band is very stiff, making it difficult to put on snugly without pinching skin. Our child became resistant to having it put on. The last time he wore it and wandered off, I spent 30 minutes trying to log into the host website (from my home computer) and place the watch in "live track" mode. The system failed twice to reach the watch, each time taking about 15 minutes to do so. I finally just gave up. Very frustrating.

        You can use this system with your smart phone, but it's not an app; you link to their mobile device enabled website. I have an older iphone and the screen is too small to maneuver around effectively; you need to use your two fingers to zoom in or out. If the google map in on the screen, and you need to zoom out to select one of the options to the side of the map, you are likely to only be able to zoom the google map, not the whole page so you can get to the options you need to engage tracking.

        Imagine the frustration of finding your child using your phone and you can't even get to the options you need to start!

        We sent it back.

  • Ala says:

    I use the KidTracker application and i think that this is a good solution for parents of teenagers. Wearing big GPS doesn't seem to be something that teenager wants... Thats why I prefer KidTracker

  • abhaysingh says:

    i want to purchase this band for my child which work gps and talking system 

  • BucksFizz says:

    Has anyone used the HereO? Looks great.

    • mygirls says:

      I've waited 8 months and still no watch.  Some have been waiting since 2014!!

    • noel says:

      HereO has BAD reviews

      • twins says:

        I ordered two hereO watches in February 2014.  I have been told that my watches would ship shortly every three months since.  It's been eight months now that I haven't heard anything.  Not sure I want them anymore.

        Very sad that they lie...lost confidence in this company.

  • mayleneklein says:

    Very disappointed ANGELSENSE isnt on this list!, It is one of the most accurate GPS . It sends notifications via text and email of any exit or arrival, it has this cool feature called listen in where you call to listen to your child when he is not with you, it has first responders. It was created by a father with a child with Autism so he really understands our needs for example wearing ,none of the above would be tolerated by my son he would remove easily and throw out!!! Angelsense has a great wearing solution consisting of magnetic pins which it attaches to clothing, nobody can remove it  but the parent who has the special key to do so, they also have a special belt for those children who remove their clothes, this belt also uses the magnetic fasteners and goes under the clothing. Ive been using this product for almost 2 years and not  once has it failed, Its great to have a little of the peace of mind I had lost many years ago....

  • Becks1114 says:

    The only tried and true wearable is Angelsense! It truly is the best design, most trustworthy device. My family counts on it daily and will continue to do so. Safety is what matters most! 

  • nicolejustine13 says:

    hi, i worry all the time about my children. Everyday there is a another story of a child being hurt or is missing and it breaks my heart. i really need something to know where my little ones are at all times. Is there anything for a low-income single parent to get that is accurate?  

  • Camel says:

    There have been a major update for the Trax where you can pay for usage almost as you go. It comes with a really great app that now looks 2015/2016 instead of the early smart phone days..

  • Samcs22 says:

    I'm deciding between trax and angel sense . Does it matter if I'm using this in an area with limited phone service?  I'm wondering if I could pinpoint the location still if service isn't great

  • Bboshold says:

    what is the best option for Canada?

  • BrownieSugar says:

    I am really looking for a reliable but reasonably priced tracker for my kids. I was hoping to find one before camp started, but I am so confused by all the choices. TheAngel Sense seems great, but, very pricey. Has anyone had any experience with the updated 2016 model for Trax?

  • Mahesh2704 says:

    what all devices works in india?? will amber works in india?

  • bcsteeve says:

    im a little disappointed that neither this article nor ANY of the mentioned manufacturers address the issue of GSM sunsetting.  ALL cellular carriers are phasing out 2G service.  Here in Canada, for example, Bell and Telus are ending 2g service by the end of this year.  The 3rd carrier - Rogers - is continuing but only until the end of 2017.  In the USA, AT&T is axing it in January 2017. Only Verizon has committed to continue to offer it, with a soft target of 2020.  NONE of these devices that mention GSM will work once the carriers sunset 2g!  The HereO watch doesn't say what it uses, but I am assuming that it is gsm too, based on its country list (I just sent an email asking for clarification).

    Research "2g sunsetting" for your country before investing in a device that won't work in as little as 5 months from now.  No wonder some devices are being blown out, but shame on them for not being forthcoming.

    • bcsteeve says:

      I got a message back from Angelsense... their hardware can support 3G, so good for them.  Their exact response:  "We offer coverage through 2G & 3G (AT&T and TMobile) and CDMA (Verizon) networks. We choose the best option for your area."

      Both CDMA and 2G (GSM) are quickly going the way of the dinosaur, but if they support 3G AT&T that's good for Americans for the foreseeable future.

  • Katee says:

    What about Kidlogger app for phones? I use it for 2 years and I like it. It has a free version and a payed one. so I know what my kids are doing, where they are. It's realy good one for me.

  • enovics says:

    check this it can be tracked via SMS too

  • kimschwikkx says:

    I live in South Africa. I am looking for a GPS tracking wristband or watch that has a panic button feature for my 2 year old son to wear. Bearing in mind that we live on a farm and thus my son would need something durable and waterproof. We also battle with cellphone reception and internet (we have wifi at the households but limited around the farm). So we would need something that can rely on satelites rather than cell comms. Is there anything out there that would meet the above criteria that doesn't cost an arm and a leg????

  • anthoang says:

    In my opinion. All these smartwatches are underwhelming.   I'm looking for a watch that can track my child as well as have the ability to install apps.  Without the apps, the child is not compelled to wear the watch.  

  • Kaym says:

    Precise innovation has the caref which is amazing. Similar to the Filip in options but unlike Filip (which ATT was unable to get to work after 3 hours of trying to set it up) the Caref is sold at Walmart or through Precise Innovation. If bought at Walmart the 9 dollar warranty is a great investment and I have already used it once after my son decided to swim with his watch. 

    • kbpereira says:

      Caref Watch is not suitable for a low functioning child. If your child understand the meaning of a watch, it will work, also the screen is very sensitive, broked in the first month.

      Also tried the Kidsport Band also from Precise Innovation, they advertise it is for a special need child. If you kid is low functioning and has sensory issue, don't even think about it, because you going to regret.

      I wish someone come up with a tracking device that can attach to kids ankle.  

  • Hails says:

    You might want to consider adding the new TEDDY TAG by Mommy I'm Here to your list of wearables. The Teddy Tag is bluetooth and works with smart devices via a free app and it is a cuter form factor, a teddy bear. It is really tiny, rechargeable too. It offers an adjustable geo fence distance proximeter and allows parents to press the button to set off a 90db alarm on the child to find them instantly. No waiting for GPS location on a phone or PC. You can actually hear where they are and not allow them to wander in the first place. The kid can also press the button on the bears tummy to set off the ringer on the parents phone!

  • DaveK says:

    What I am looking for does not seem to be available. I am looking for something that would help me track down an abductor the minute a child was taken. I want a device small enough that i could hide it in my child's clothing or shoes. If an abductor can visibly see a device like a smart watch on their arm, all they have to do is take it off and throw it out the window. If the device is clunky and too big it will always be in their backpack; so what if they don't have their backpack when the abduction occurs (?) A life saving device for this type of scenario would need to be undetectable by the abductor, and have a high level of accuracy. Anyone seen anything that meets these requirements?

    • Michelle10 says:

      Thank you! This was my first thought Or just to at least know that the child does not have it on but yeah, I would think they could just take it off. I'd want to be notified if the device came off my child. I am just looking into these now. If you find any let me know! 

    • castrub says:

      Feel the same! Also wouldn't necessarily want my child to know there's a tracking device on him/her, so something to slip into a shoe and to not have to reattach every day would be nice. And the Live GPS tracking would be KEY to following your moving child of he/she was with an abductor... Still looking. Let's share any worthy findings on this thread!

    • MattL says:

      EXACTLY!  Seems like all of the devices are either clunky, have bright colors which would attract the attention of an abductor, easily removable, or need to be put in a backpack.  And, as you said, if the child doesn't have the backpack on then what good is the tracking device?

    • Chelsea says:

      Yes!! So, the general consensus is that what we really need has not been invented? Then what is the next best choice? Something that can be slipped into clothing / shoe? Or a bracelet they cannot remove? I had no idea this field was so vast and yet so incomplete. -CS

  • suzannebrozek says:

    I wish I could find a wearable for my child with non-verbal severe autism. Ideally, I was hoping there would be a medical alert type wrist band that my child cannot remove and that has no buttons that SHE could push, but has tracking so I know that she made it to school, can alert me if she is out of designated area and can alert me when her bus arrives home. One that also has a way that if she is lost someone could get her info that she is nonverbal auttie and how to reach me in an emergency just like a medical alert that just way too much to ask? With the technology available today I would think someone would have thought of something like this, for severe children with a tendency to wander and Avonte. Cover all the bases! Ya know?

  • kids_first says:

    There are other non- GPS products out there that will actually let the parents set off an alarm on the child from over 150 feet away, without the need for GPS. These locators also have a geo fence setting that lets the parents know when the child wanders away. They are shaped like a teddy bear and are not expensive. They are called the Mommy I'm Here child locators.

  • Squidd says:

    Very happy with our AngelSense GPS! My 9 year old wears it on a belt under his clothes. It works off the cell network and can be monitored across the entire USA. It tells me when his bus leaves schools, how fast the bus is going and I can call to hear what's going on around him. It's worth every cent.

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