GPS trackers for kids to offer you peace of mind

GPS trackers for kids

by Arabella Horspool |
Updated on

However attentive you may be, many of us have experienced that horrible moment when you lose sight of your child for a split second and your heart jumps out of your chest. All any parent wants to do is keep their little one safe (whether that be through baby-proofing kits or stairgates) and one way of doing this is by investing in a GPS trackers, especially for children.

A GPS tracking device offers extra peace of mind when with your child in a busy place such as a shopping centre or festival, should you lose each other. Plus, it offers real-time tracking, meaning that you can pinpoint the exact position of your child at that very minute, using a map on your smartphone or tablet so you can quickly get to them.

The best kids' GPS trackers at a glance:

Best GPS trackers for kids: Weenect Kids - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best small GPS tracker: AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best Apple GPS tracker: Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen, 2023) - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best child GPS tracker watch: NICKWATCH Nickelodeon-themed Kids' Smart Watch - Buy now on Currys

To make picking the right GPS tracker for your child easier, we've rounded up our favourite GPS trackers on the market. In our roundup, we've also included children's smartwatches which have GPS features, as well as other settings.

The best GPS trackers for kids 2023

Best GPS tracker for kids

Firstly, this GPS tracker allows you to track your child's location from your phone. Working in real-time with up to one position every 10 seconds, it has a long battery life of seven days for everyday use. However, there is no limit on the distance between the tracker and your phone for the service to work. In the event of a problem, your child can alert you by pressing the SOS panic button on their tracker. Sim card included.

One reviewer said: "I bought this for my son to take out with him. He is 11 and has just recently wanted to start going out with his friends (which scared me to death)! I sent for this tracker and I was not expecting it to be as good as it is! It’s awesome. I love how easy it was to set up and the app is great and easy to use as well. I also love the fact that he can contact me through the tracker if he needs to. The battery life on it is superb - I think on a full charge it lasts around 7 days so I don’t have to worry about it running out of charge like his mobile phone. It's just a great tracker altogether. I highly recommend it!"

Pros

  • There is no limited distance coverage between the tracker and the parent's phone.
  • It comes with a storage pocket.
  • The battery life lasts up to seven days on a full charge.
  • It comes with real-time tracking, which updates every 10 seconds.
  • It includes an SOS button which allows your child to alert you in case of an emergency.
  • The tracker allows your child to contact you directly, providing you with reassurance.
  • A SIM card is included, making it ready to use out of the box.

Cons

  • It's not pocket-sized.
  • As it comes with a SIM card, there may be ongoing data plan costs.
Subscription required:Yes, starting at £3.50 per month
Dimensions:6.5 x 1.8 x 4 cm
Weight:55g
  • 7 day battery
  • SOS panic button
  • Emergency telephone

Best small GPS tracker

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker
Price: $59.00
Alternative retailers
Walmart$59.90View offer

Offering all-day monitoring and Advanced Safeguard GPS for accurate location tracking, the AngelSense assistive speakerphone allows you to talk to your child or listen in to make sure they’re ok, with an SOS call button for them to press when they urgently need you. Included with your purchase is a soft, sensory-friendly sleeve and non-removable pins that allow you to attach the device anywhere that is comfortable. AngelSense also lets you see a detailed location history of your youngster's whereabouts for each day.

A parent reviewer said: "I have a special needs teenager and I just recently set this app even though I bought it a while ago due to the school bus company getting lost with my child and bullying. So far this product is absolutely amazing and I may even buy more for my other children that aren't disabled so I can just track where they are just in case as you never know what could happen."

Pros

  • It comes with a sensory-friendly sleeve, which is soft and designed to be comfortable for children.
  • It offers nationwide coverage, providing peace of mind on your child's whereabouts.
  • Detailed history of your child's location throughout the day is provided.
  • It has a built-in speakerphone that allows you to talk to your child.
  • The tracker has an SOS button which will alert you when it has been pressed.
  • A SIM card is included, making it ready to use out of the box.

Cons

  • The battery life needs improvement, as it needs charging frequently.
  • It costs 29.99 per month with a 1-year contract, to be able to use the SIM card and device.
Supscription required:Yes, £25 a month with a 1-Year Contract.
Dimensions:4.39 x 6.1 x 1.6 cm
Weight:20g
  • Live GPS location
  • One and two-way voice

Best Apple GPS tracker

Although it's not specifically designed to be a GPS tracker, the Apple Watch has some easy-to-use tracking features. It's more suited to older children due to the other features and settings that can be accessed, although you can use the Apple's Family Setup feature to remotely control the device for someone else.

One reviewer wrote: "I bought the 40mm as I assumed the larger one would look too big on my wrist, however it actually is smaller than I expected so if I was to buy it again would probably go for the larger option. In order to set up the watch you have to have a relatively newer phone that is capable of updating to iOS 17. If your phone can’t update to the new iOS you won’t be able to use the watch unfortunately as it is running on watch OS 10. The wrist strap feels comfortable enough, would probably get the larger wrist strap unless purchasing for a child as the size S/M is a lot smaller than I expected! It works ok in the shower as it’s waterproof - no issues so far."

Pros

  • It is water resistant and swimproof, making it suitable for water-related activities without the risk of damage.
  • The straps are customisable, allowing you to change them to your preferred design.
  • The Apple Watch offers reliable location tracking through its built-in GPS and Find My application.
  • There is a family setup option allowing you to set up and manage their watch, ensuring safety.
  • Besides GPS tracking, the watch offers other features like health and fitness, communication and safety tools.
  • It also includes an emergency SOS feature, alerting you if it was activated.
  • The watch itself comes in different screen sizes to suit your wrist.

Cons

  • The watch requires an iPhone to connect to for setup and use.
  • It costs more than other alternatives.
Subscription required:No
Dimensions:40mm
Weight:36.20g
  • Emergency SOS
  • Fall and crash detection
  • 18 hour battery life
  • Bluetooth

Best child GPS tracker watch

As well as GPS tracking and SOS calling on a family ring system, the NickWatch is designed to get kids active, using rewards and games based on their favourite characters and Nickelodeon television shows. It has lots of entertainment loaded on there too, including a camera with filters and stickers, kid-friendly songs and fun sound effects.

James, a parent reviewer said: "My 7 year old received this (we needed to see when he was arriving back on the school bus to minimise travel/ waiting time) this week. The app and set up took a few minutes and in no time we had our son karate chopping imaginary objects, balancing things on SpongeBob's head and all manner of stuff that had him leaping around - not just staring zombie-like at a screen."

Pros

  • There is no access to social media or internet browsers.
  • It provides GPS tracking and SOS calling, providing you with the piece of mind that your child is safe.
  • It is easily setup and has an app that you can manage the watch via.
  • There are additional features available on the watch like a camera and filters, songs, interactive games and a step counter.
  • It comes with two different straps, one SpongeBob Square Pants themed and the other plain grey.
  • The smartwatch allows 2-way messaging and calling.

Cons

  • The durability of the watch is a concern from some, depending on the level of your child's activities.
  • As it comes with a SIM card, there may be ongoing data plan costs.
  • Waterproof and dustproof materials
  • Caregiver features
  • Two-way calls and messages

Best cheap GPS tracker

GPS Track Tag
Price: £12.95 (was 24.95)

little-dreams.co.uk

It may be cheap, but this Track Tag offers numerous features, including real-time location tracking, SOS emergency help, and Geo-fence. Although popular for frequently lost items such as keys, Track Tag can also be used on your child with a range of up to 25m. The smooth surface makes this design a practical everyday accessory, available in five different colours.

A reviewer said: "It's really a miracle. For those who keep losing keys, wallets, cats, remote controls and more, this small device has always been a lifesaving tool. They are easy to install. So far, they have played a very good role in my staged experiments and at least two actual "misplaced keys" incidents."

Pros

  • There is no subscription needed.
  • It offers real-time updates, allowing you to know where your child is.
  • The tracker has an SOS feature which will alert you when it's activated.
  • It has a geo-fence, which allows you to set boundaries and alerts when your child exits these areas.
  • There are multiple alarms included, such as shift, overspeed, and low power.
  • It is waterproof, dustproof and lightweight.
  • The tracker is available in a variety of different colours.

Cons

  • This tracker is only effective up to 25m range only.
  • The battery life needs improvement, as it requires frequent charging.
Subscription required:No
  • Waterproof design
  • Long standby
  • Geo-fence

Best mini GPS tracker

Tracki GPS Tracker

Rrp: $18.88

Price: $9.82
Alternative retailers
Walmart$12.88View offer
Newegg$18.88View offer

With unlimited distance real-time tracking, this Tracki device has plenty of five-star reviews on Amazon. Fully equipped with worldwide coverage and a SIM card, this tracker is light, accessible and comes with great customer service. Further, with a rechargeable battery life for up to five days, this Tracki arrives with attachments and a promise to help keep your mind at bay when letting your little one roam free without you for the first time.

A reviewer said: "Our company purchased several of these units to help with theft prevention of our products. I'm happy to say that because of our Tracki Mini Real-time GPS Tracker 2019 Model we were able to track down and recover stolen materials, and easily pay for the cost of the trackers with just this one situation."

Pros

  • The tracker is lightweight and compact and can be attached to various items for convenience.
  • It works over any network (not just 4G).
  • It offers real-time tracking with global coverage.
  • A SIM card is included, making it ready to use and easy to set up.
  • The tracker includes various mounts, such as strong magnet, waterproof silicone cover, belt clip, key ring and lanyard for different uses.

Cons

  • The standard battery could be better and require less charging.
  • As it comes with a SIM card, there may be ongoing data plan costs.
Subscription required:Yes
Dimensions:4.57 x 4.06 x 1.78 cm
Weight:39.69g
  • Magnetic device
  • Can be used on a belt clip, lanyard or keyring
  • 5-years location history

Can I put a GPS tracker on my child?

There's no law that states you can't use a GPS tracker on your child. If you are the legal guardian or parent, you are legally allowed to track your children if they are under the age of 18. They can be used to effectively locate a child in a serious or potentially life-threatening situation.

However, it is a morally grey area, as some people consider it to be an invasion of their privacy, especially when they get to the teenage stage and start going out with friends and spending more time away from their home and parents. Many parents respect their child's boundaries and use GPS tracking purely in emergency situations only, such as when their child goes missing or doesn't return home on time.

We recommend having an open conversation with your child to let them know that you intend on using a tracker on them and the reasons why. Make sure that it is age appropriate or use terminology based on their level of understanding.

What is the best GPS tracker for my child?

There are many factors to consider when purchasing a GPS tracker for children; it's not a one-size fits all decision. The two main types of tracker are apps and physical trackers. Physical tracking devices must be attached to your child in someway, whether that be on their clothing or in items they own (such as shoes, rucksacks, schoolbags or toys for example). Other devices include kids' smartwatches which have access to GPS tracking and emergency calling or messaging. Tracking apps on the other hand can be accessed using a mobile phone, tablet or adult smartwatch.

There are pros and cons to each style of GPS tracking, so we have broken it up into categories, hopefully making your decision easier for you.

GPS tracker device

Operation: GPS trackers give out precise locations as they operate using global positioning of satellites (hence where the acronym comes from). Plus, you don't need to have active data to access these loactions.

Age suitability: A physical GPS tracker can be used on most children no matter their age (although some are very small and could pose as a choking hazard for babies and toddlers). Some smart devices have certain features or access to internet browsing which cannot be turned off and therefore could be dangerous.

Battery life: Generally speaking, GPS trackers have long battery lives of at least a few days and some companies even offer users the chance to purchase add-on batteries to extend this further.

Subscriptions: To access premium features like two-way calls or unlimited messaging, you may need to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.

GPS tracking app

Operation: Reliant on mobile phone signal and Wi-Fi, you may get slightly inaccurate readings as signals tend to go weak quite often. Make sure you have a strong internet data service if you want to use tracking apps.

Age suitability: More suited to parents of children that have a smartphone or device that connects to the Internet. However, there are several kids' watches and trackers which have limited browsing access which can be used through 4G and you can link them up to certain parenting apps.

Battery life: Most mobile phones will need charging at least once a day and they are not specifically designed to purely keep GPS running for long periods of time, so using an app for extended periods is likely to drain the battery.

Subscriptions: Some apps want you to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to utilise additional features.

Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby and Yours at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who enjoys cooking and spending time with her many pets.

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