Best GPS Tracker For Kids [2019]

Best Overall
Jiobit - Smallest Real-Time Location Tracker for Kids | Highly Secure, KidSAFE Approved, Lightweight, Durable, Live Notifications | Precise Location Reporting Utilizes Cellular, BT, Wifi and GPS
Budget Pick
Samsung SmartThings Tracker [SM-V110AZWAATT] Live GPS-Enabled Tracking via Nationwide LTE-M Networks | Use for Kids, Cars, Keys, Pets Wallets, Luggage, and More - Small, White
Premium Pick
goTele GPS Tracker, No Monthly Fee No Network Required Mini Portable Off-grid Real Time GPS Tracking Device for Outdoor Hiking, Hunting, Kids and Pets Tracker (2 Pack)
Jiobit GPS Tracker
Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker
goTele GPS Tracker
Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, GPS Connectivity
4G/LTE Cellular Connection Through AT&T
Used App/Cell Phone For Connection
Encrypted Location Data / TrustChip Technology
SOS/Emergency Alert System
Off-The-Grid Tracker
kidSAFE / COPPA Compliant
Geofencing
No Additional Network Required
$129.99
$84.99
$199.99
Best Overall
Jiobit - Smallest Real-Time Location Tracker for Kids | Highly Secure, KidSAFE Approved, Lightweight, Durable, Live Notifications | Precise Location Reporting Utilizes Cellular, BT, Wifi and GPS
Jiobit GPS Tracker
Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, GPS Connectivity
Encrypted Location Data / TrustChip Technology
kidSAFE / COPPA Compliant
$129.99
Budget Pick
Samsung SmartThings Tracker [SM-V110AZWAATT] Live GPS-Enabled Tracking via Nationwide LTE-M Networks | Use for Kids, Cars, Keys, Pets Wallets, Luggage, and More - Small, White
Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker
4G/LTE Cellular Connection Through AT&T
SOS/Emergency Alert System
Geofencing
$84.99
Premium Pick
goTele GPS Tracker, No Monthly Fee No Network Required Mini Portable Off-grid Real Time GPS Tracking Device for Outdoor Hiking, Hunting, Kids and Pets Tracker (2 Pack)
goTele GPS Tracker
Used App/Cell Phone For Connection
Off-The-Grid Tracker
No Additional Network Required
$199.99

Best Wearable Tracker: Jiobit GPS Tracker
The security alone makes this the best GPS tracker – period. If it were available in a non-wearable, it would easily win that category too. Being kidSAFE approved and COPPA certified is more than enough to make this the best wearable GPS tracker solution.

Best Non-Wearable Tracker: Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker
For a non-wearable GPS tracker, there’s not much this can’t do (except global connectivity). It’s built to go anywhere, give some of the most detailed tracking, and it doesn’t cost much at all ($50/year).

Best Off-The-Grid Tracker: goTele GPS Tracker
When you’re in an area without cellular communications, finding your family and friends can be difficult. But with the goTele, you’ll still be able to see where they are, even in the thick of a forest or even a theme park.

How We Picked

GPS has been around for quite some time, actually showing up all the way back in 1973 when the Department of Defense (DoD) created a satellite system that helped to triangulate a person’s position using a tracking device. Since 1973, there’s been a lot of changes to GPS trackers and the GPS system and now we can use the same “covert” technology that the US government does.

While you may not be tracking the most expensive military equipment in the world, there’s a good chance that you want to keep track of your children. And the same technology that is used to track an airplane person can be used to keep track of your kids too.

Today, we’re going to show you the ten best GPS trackers for kids that we’ve found. Of course, there’s a LOT more than just ten trackers, but these are the best when compared (to see what we considered, you can look at our buyer’s guide below). Ultimately, we feel that these will cover your needs the best, while staying budget-friendly.

So, are you ready to see how to keep tabs on your kids just a little easier?

#1 SZBXD Smart Watch For Kids

SZBXD Smart Watch For Kids

Specs:

  • 2-Way Calling
  • 1-Key Emergency/SOS
  • Timed Usage Restrictions
  • 2G Cellular + GPS

Jumping right in, watches are a great way to get your kids to wear a GPS tracker. This watch is built for younger kids, with a very cartoon-themed design. It comes in two colors: pink for girls and blue for boys (yes, we know it’s not the ‘90s anymore, so you do you). And while this “smart watch phone” is built for a younger audience (i.e. children under 13), it seems to have features that older users would appreciate too. Some of the features include a built-in messaging app, a front-facing camera for selfies, and 2-way calling.

The built-in messaging app works just like your standard messaging app on your phone in that you can talk with any contact stored on the watch. As the screen is only 1.44”, it can be a little difficult to talk with someone, but it still gives them the option (and at this age, they’ll love anything that gives them a little freedom).

As we know all too well, selfies are a BIG thing right now. Which is why your kids will love this watch. They can take all the selfies they want and send them to their friends and/or store them on their phone.

The 2-way calling feature allows your kids to talk with up to ten assigned phone numbers (i.e. family numbers and trusted contacts). And you can also assign three SOS/emergency numbers to work with the watch/phone feature as well.

SZBXD Smart Watch For Kids SOS button

Of course, there are more features such as Geofencing, but these are more for you than for your kids. With Geofencing, you’ll be able to set up a perimeter where your kids are “safe”. If they travel away from the “safe” zone, you’ll be alerted by the app immediately.

And, there’s a “non-disturb” mode where it can be programmed to stay silent such as when they are in class. They’ll still have access to the SOS/emergency features, but everything else will be locked down until they are out of class (or church).

To get the GPS to work, you’ll need to purchase a 2G, non-CDMA SIM card from a company like SPEEDTALK SIM (T-Mobile Owned) or another compatible company. This is actually how the phone and/or messaging features will work. Also, this is how they’ll triangulate your actual coordinates by using the cellular features to connect to the GPS data stored on your device. As is with any SIM and/or subscriber model, you’ll need to buy a new data plan for your watch either as it runs out or at the end of each purchase period (i.e. month).

What We Like

This is an actual GPS watch that isn’t expensive. It looks childish (which it should), but it’s got a lot of features that even older children will enjoy. It’s not as limited as some of the other GPS tracking devices and it’s something that your kids will actually want to wear every day.

Overall

As you can see, this is feature loaded for both YOU and your kids. In order to get them excited about using a GPS tracker, you might need a little help. With this watch, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince them as they’re getting a phone with 2-way calling, a text messaging system, and a camera for all the selfies they want. It does require access to a 2G network like SPEEDTALK SIM (T-Mobile Owned), but it’s a great first choice.

SZBXD Smart Watch For Kids

  • Cellular/GPS Connectivity
  • Advanced Features For Your Kids
  • Geofencing and SOS Alerts

#2 OJOY A1 Smart Watch For Kids

OJOY A1 Smart Watch For Kids front

Specs:

  • 2-Way Calling
  • 3G/4G Cellular + GPS
  • Fitness Tracker App

Here’s another watch that will make it easier to get your kids on board with wearing a GPS tracker. The OJOY A1 is built for kids who are slightly older (8 – 12) who still don’t need as much advanced tech (i.e. FitBit’s and iWatches). It also comes in two colors: purple and blue. It has several features that your children will like such as 2-way calling, built-in messenger app, front-facing camera, and a step-counter for tracking fitness.

The built-in messaging app works pretty well, giving your children access to a text messaging platform where they can see voice messages, pictures, and/or emojis. It is not a full-on text messaging system where they can send basic texts, but they can do most anything else. The front-facing camera is capable of 2MP quality so they can easily get close-ups without any problems. The 2-way calling feature can receive phone calls from ANY number but can only make calls from prestored contacts you determine. And, if your child is starting to get into fitness, the built-in pedometer helps to keep track of their steps (where you can challenge them to get a certain number of steps each week).

OJOY A1 Smart Watch For Kids side and back

For you, the GPS tracker uses GPS, Cellular connections, and WiFi connections to maintain a fairly accurate view of where your children are. Using the downloadable app, you’ll be able to see on the map where they are at ANY point in the day. This watch does not include Geofencing so you can’t assign “safe” zones, so if that’s a must, you’ll need to look elsewhere. It also has an IP68 water rating so it can withstand being immersed for up to 30 minutes in 6ft of water or less.

As with the GPS watch above, this will also need to have a SIM card but this will work on a 3G/4G network. You can use a company like SPEEDTALK SIM to connect to a cellular network without breaking the bank. Without an active cellular subscription, your GPS watch will not function as a tracker and you won’t be able to keep tabs on your children.

OJOY A1 Smart Watch For Kids color options and functions

What We Like

This is another great watch that has plenty of features to please both you and your child. The fitness tracker is a nice boost and makes promoting healthier living easier.

Overall

We really love watches, especially for GPS tracking, and your kids will too. This watch has plenty of features which they’ll love (2-way calling, text messaging, built-in camera) and features that you’ll love (GPS tracking, 3G/4G access, IP68 rating). If your kids are a little older (8 – 12), then this watch is probably a little more “their style”.

Sale
OJOY A1 Smart Watch For Kids

  • 3G/4G Cellular Access
  • GPS, Cellular, WiFi Connectivity
  • IP68 Water Resistant Rating

#3 iCooLive Smart Watch For Kids

iCooLive Smart Watch For Kids

Specs:

  • 2-Way Calling
  • 1-Key Emergency/SOS
  • Timed Usage Restrictions
  • 2G Cellular + GPS

It’s starting to look like a watch fest here, but we’ll get to some other devices a little later on. This watch is built for the younger children in your family (under 8 years old). While the company claims it is for ages 4 – 12, it’s doubtful that this one will get worn by too many 9+’ers. It does come in three color options this time with blue, pink, and yellow. The theme is a puppy dog for all three colors and it remains more gender neutral than the two options above. For the children, it has 2-way calling and a camera for unlimited selfies. For you, you’ll have access to their camera so you can see what they’re doing, GPS tracking, 2-way communications, and even timed usage restrictions.

Unlike the other two watches, this watch does not include a text messaging system. Instead, it sticks to the basics with 2-way voice calls. Of course, the only calls that can be made from this watch is through the prestored contacts. The front-facing camera has a 3MP rating and can send ultra-clear pictures of what’s happening in real time. The kids will love it for the selfies; you’ll love it for the ability to see them or their surroundings from the downloadable app.

Another feature that you’ll appreciate (they won’t) is the timed usage restrictions. You can set a schedule for the device to work in limited mode where they can’t make phone calls or use it to play around. This is great for school schedules and/or church meetings. During this restricted time, they’ll still have access to SOS/emergency features and you’ll still be able to track them.

iCooLive actually includes a SIM for you to use, but you can still use other 2G, non-CDMA networks if you wish. Again, you MUST have a cellular network card for your tracking features to be enabled. Without it, this watch will not be able to function as a GPS tracker.

What We Like

For the younger children, they’ll love the basic look and simplicity of the watch. You’ll appreciate the IP67 water resistant rating and the time restrictions.

Overall

In keeping things simple, iCooLive has done a great job. They give you a watch, with an included SIM card, making it easy to get started immediately. The watch is not built for an older demographic even though they claim a 4 – 12 age range. It still offers everything you’ll need in a GPS tracker without being overkill.

iCooLive Smart Watch For Kids

  • Timed Restrictions
  • 2-Way Calling
  • IP67 Water Resistant Rating

#4 Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids

Specs:

  • 2-Way Calling
  • 1-Key Emergency/SOS
  • Timed Usage Restrictions
  • Geofencing

We did say we’d eventually quit reviewing just watches and this is the last one. This watch can work for any age range but is built for kids between 6 – 12. It comes in three color options of blue, orange, and pink. There is no theme as it’s a rubber watch band with a matching color scheme; it’s fairly gender-neutral like the last watch. It’s not feature loaded for the kids, but it still gives them 2-way calling.

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids Apps

So, this does not include a built-in camera or text messaging, but your children can still use the 2-way calling to access the SOS numbers and/or stored family numbers. This watch is built more for YOU and what it can do for keeping track of your kids. You can track them using the GPS/Cellular connection as well as keep tabs on them using Geofencing. If they leave the “safe” zone, you’ll be alerted via SMS and/or through your downloaded app. Another feature that you will enjoy is the remote monitoring feature where you can hear everything that is going on around them at a specific time (i.e. they’ve left the safe zone or they’re in another unknown area). And, you can restrict the function of the watch during certain times such as class and/or church.

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids Buttons

As with all the other watches, you’ll need a cellular SIM card; this watch only works on 2G, non-CDMA networks. Without a cellular SIM, this watch will not function as a GPS tracker at all.

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids S.O.S. button

What We Like

This is a very sophisticated looking watch with a clean and simple interface. While it doesn’t have a selfie camera and added text messaging capabilities, it has remote monitoring, geofencing, class mode restrictions, and even includes a health app. It’s built to grow up with your kids.

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids GPS & LBS

Overall

If your kids want a more sophisticated looking watch, this is perfect for them. They’ll lose a camera (could be a deal breaker) but you’ll gain a little extra control and it will last longer than others as they’ll still want to wear it as they grow up.

Wonbo Smart Watch For Kids (New Version)

  • Sophisticated Design
  • 2-Way Calling
  • Geofencing

#5 Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker

Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker

Specs:

  • 4G/LTE Cellular Connection Through AT&T
  • SOS/Emergency Alert System
  • Geofencing

We’ve finally moved past the watches! Now, we’re getting into some of the “non-wearables”. The Samsung SmartThings tracker is not worn like a watch but attached to whatever you would like (i.e. backpack, purse, lanyard, necklace, keychains, dog/cat collars, etc). It is VERY small at only 1.7 inches x 1.7 inches x 0.5 inches and easy to hide and/or carry with a weight of 4.8 ounces. As far as color options, there is only one option – white.

Samsung SmartThings Tracker next to plant

Samsung absolutely packed the SmartThings trackers with a TON of features like 4G/LTE access, IP68 water resistance, Geofencing, and a 10-day battery (in power-save mode). The SmartThings tracker is built for portability and durability and will work in almost any situation. With the IP68 water resistant rating, you can get it wet and it’ll still work, even if it stays wet for 30 minutes. And it can be used for more than tracking just your kids if needed – it attaches to animal collars and/or harnesses easily. With 4G/LTE access through AT&T, you’ll be able to track your children and/or pets even when they’re inside a building, which isn’t possible with non-LTE devices. If you’re worried about battery life, the SmartThings tracker has an average battery life of four to five days of full use, or ten days of power-save use. Another reason to love the SmartThings tracker is the ability to share the tracker with other people using the “Invite Member” feature.

Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker smartphone app

But Samsung did not stop there. In fact, they added the ability to automate your life using the SmartThings integration with other smart devices. For instance, when you get close to the house, the lights can turn on, the garage door can open, and the TV can be turned on. Imagine the doors locking behind you when you leave for the day and unlocking when you get home – no more fumbling with the keys. While it is effective for children, it can be even more effective for you (dual-purpose).

Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker used by mother to check for kids location

What We Like

This is MUCH more than just a kids tracker, but it will definitely help you know exactly where your kids are. The 4G/LTE connection blows away other competitors for location accuracy, especially in buildings.

Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker on backpack

Overall

When you want the best, you’ll want the SmartThings tracker from Samsung. It comes with a 1-year subscription to the 4G/LTE service from AT&T and it’s not very expensive per month ($5.00) or per year ($50.00).

Sale
Samsung SmartThings GPS Tracker

  • Simple, Portable Design
  • 4G/LTE Network Access
  • 1-Year Included Service
  • Geofencing/Safe Zone Alerts

#6 Jiobit GPS Tracker

Jiobit GPS Tracker smartphone app

Specs:

  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, GPS Connectivity
  • kidSAFE / COPPA Compliant
  • Encrypted Location Data
  • TrustChip Technology

Another non-wearable that we’ve taken a keen eye to is the Jiobit GPS Tracker. Just like Samsung, Jiobit has absolutely packed their tracker with plenty of features to give you the security you need. The Jiobit has a built-in loop that can be attached to anything (i.e. clothing, backpacks, keychains, purses, necklaces, collars, waistbands, shoelaces, etc.) And, it’s very small, measuring in at only 2 inches x 1.4 inches x 0.5 inches (it’s comparable to the size of an Oreo) and it only weighs 0.8 ounces. The Jiobit only comes in one color option – grey (which is extremely neutral).

Jiobit GPS Tracker unboxed

Getting into the features, there’s plenty to choose from. Firstly, you won’t need to subscribe to a separate cellular plan as this is built-in through Jiobit. The monthly plans start at $8.99/month and are billed directly through Jiobit. Next, it uses all available technologies to give you the most exact tracking locations possible using Bluetooth + WiFi + Cellular + GPS! What really separates the Jiobit from the competitors is the security certifications and technology.

Jiobit GPS Tracker next to pencils

Jiobit is COPPA certified through the kidSAFE program. They manage this using a patented TrustChip to authenticate all users before divulging information about your kids to unauthorized users. And, even if the data itself were breached, it’s encrypted to protect them even more. With more and more IoT devices being hacked, having the ability to protect your children using the Jiobit is a no-brainer.

Jiobit GPS Tracked attached to kids pants

Jiobit GPS Tracker on child

What We Like

The point of a GPS tracker is to keep up with your kids and to protect them. The Jiobit does a great job of providing accurate tracking information, but they go above and beyond when it comes to security. The TrustChip technology and data encryption is absolutely worth the premium of $8.99/month.

Overall

There won’t be many GPS trackers that provide everything that the Jiobit offers, while still giving you so much security and protection from unauthorized users. While the $8.99/month subscription plan may seem “premium”, it’s because they’re giving you premium security with some of the most accurate GPS locations possible.

Sale
Jiobit GPS Tracker

  • Full Communication Network Access
  • TrustChip Technology + Data Encryption
  • Included 4G/LTE Cellular Network Access

#7 GEGO Luggage Tracker

GEGO Luggage Tracker

Specs:

  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, GPS Connectivity
  • Global GSM Compatible
  • Works With Alexa

While the GEGO Luggage Tracker does not say children, it should. It’s much more than a luggage tracker, but its original design was inspired by Lugloc, a luggage locator company. Over time, they developed it into more of a tracker, but it’s remained as a luggage locator first.

It looks like a stack of credit cards, with a size of 3.5 inches by 2.2 inches x 0.4 inches and it weighs 4 ounces. It has a large, built-in hole for attaching it to anything. It could be stored inside of a coat, a backpack, under a car seat, or any other item and/or belonging you want to track. It uses multiple technologies to help you keep track of your kids with Bluetooth, WiFi, Global Cellular, and GPS (yes, we said global). This is a great option for anyone who has children that travel and/or stay with another parent and/or grandparent. And if they go overseas, it’s global-network ready and TSA, FAA, and IATA compliant.

GEGO Luggage Tracker smartphone app

One of the nifty features that the GEGO offers is the ability to work with Alexa. Whenever a child enters/departs a safe zone, an alert can be sent to your Alexa device and let you know in real-time if they’ve made it and/or left.

GEGO Luggage Tracker next to smartphone and Alexa

What We Like

When you take the limits off, you get global access. Of course, you’ll pay $6.33/month for this access, but that’s an absolute steal for what you get. Not to mention, this works with Alexa – have you seen another that currently works with Alexa?

Overall

At first glance, a luggage tracker is not a KID tracker. But the GEGO Luggage Tracker is very much a kid tracker. Over time, they’ve expanded their purpose and now it offers some features that simply can’t be touched by the competitors. If you need global tracking access, then this is probably the best option for you.

GEGO Luggage Tracker

  • Global GSM Network Compatible
  • Full Communication Network Access
  • Included 4G/LTE Cellular Network Access

#8 Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker

Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker front

Specs:

  • Small, Chic Design
  • SOS/Emergency One-Touch Access
  • Dual-Mode Tracking Using GPS + WiFi/Bluetooth

Here’s another wearable that’s not really a wearable and yet it is. The Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker is meant to be hung on a necklace and look good while doing it. It’s extremely compact at 0.4 inches x 0.4 inches, by 0.4 inches and weighs a paltry 5 ounces. It comes in one color, which is light blue (with a hint of green).

Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker side

And even though it is small, it packs a LOT of great features. You have geofencing capabilities, SOS/emergency one-touch alerts, dual GPS and LBS tracking for indoor/outdoor accuracy, and even voice monitoring.

What We Like

This is a very non-obtrusive GPS tracker that your kids (primarily girls) will love. It’s easy to add it to their favorite necklace and it still functions as a full-on tracker. While it doesn’t use GSM/CDMA networks, you can still keep up with them using the GPS + WiFi/Bluetooth connections.

Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker accessories

Overall

If you want to keep up with your kids, but you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb, the A9 Pendant tracker is perfect. It still offers GPS, and offers a great alternative to the standard wristwatch.

Sonew A9 Pendant GPS Tracker

  • Hangs From A Necklace
  • GPS + Bluetooth/WiFi Tracking
  • Remote Voice Monitoring System

#9 Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker

Specs:

  • Screenless Design
  • One-Button Talk Connection
  • Nationwide 4G/LTE + WiFi Connectivity

If you’ve ever been away from your kids, you know how they always want to talk when you get home. Now you can give them a way to talk to you whenever they want, without giving them a screen to get in trouble with. The Relay screenless GPS tracker is one of the most unique trackers we’ve seen, giving your children the ability to contact you as if they were using a walkie-talkie.

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker used by child

Plus, it’s built like a tank so it can withstand their abuse. If you need to check on your child, just pull up the app and voila – there they are! And, the Relay screenless GPS tracker is kidSAFE certified so there’s another level of added comfort and security.

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker buttons

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker buttons and sim card tray

What We Like

For a basic, screenless option, there’s nothing better than the Relay. With one-touch communication, your child will love the added security they feel knowing they can reach you whenever they want.

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker music player option

Overall

There’s not always a reason to put ANOTHER screen in front of your child. With the Relay, you won’t have to, and it’s even kidSAFE certified.

Relay Screenless Smartphone GPS Tracker

  • kidSAFE Certified
  • Screenless Design
  • Nationwide 4G/LTE

#10 goTele GPS Tracker

goTele GPS Tracker

Specs:

  • Off-The-Grid Tracker
  • No Additional Network Required
  • Used App/Cell Phone For Connection

And finally, what if you’re off the grid? For those who don’t like being tied down, you can still keep up with kids. While the goTele GPS tracker was designed for hiking and other off-the-grid function, it can still help you keep track of your kids.

goTele GPS Tracker used outdoors

When used in conjunction with another goTele, you can connect directly to each other upto 5km in a suburb and up to 3km in a downtown area. You still have access to SOS/emergency alerts and geofencing, but you can actually have up to 30 connected users at one time using the app which pairs with your goTele tracker.

goTele GPS Tracker buttons and features

What We Like

Sometimes you don’t need the biggest and baddest GPS trackers, but you do need to stay in touch as when you’re on a hike or at a theme park. For these moments, this is a great option.

goTele GPS Tracker on backpack

Overall

While simple in premise, it absolutely works. It’s an off-the-grid type solution that helps keep you in touch, even when the rest of the world is miles away.

goTele GPS Tracker

  • Made for the outdoors
  • Up to 30 users
  • Emergency alter and geofencing

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best GPS Tracker For Your Kids

There’s plenty of features and functions to look at when you’re considering a GPS tracker for your kids. Even so, we’re going to make it easier by breaking down the features that matter the most.

Location Tracking Method

There are three primary ways for a tracker to work.

  1. GPS
  2. Bluetooth
  3. WiFi

We’re only going to focus on GPS-centric trackers as these are the most useful. Bluetooth trackers do work, albeit not as effectively due to distance and/or communication issues. GPS trackers will work as long as they have a line-of-sight to a GPS satellite.

Bluetooth and WiFi trackers only work when they are in the area of another Bluetooth-connected device that is configured to work with the tracker or an unsecured WiFi connection. Because of this, they aren’t able to work well over larger distances and/or rural areas.

GPS is the BEST option for your tracking needs … period.

Size And Design

As this is for a child, how big it is can matter. If the tracker you’ve chosen is a watch, will it be small enough to fit their wrist? If it’s an attachable device, will it be easily concealable? If your tracker is for a girl, will it have the colors she likes?

Plus, there are numerous design styles for trackers such as watches, bracelets, necklaces, lanyard attachments, keychain attachments, concealables, etc. The best design is the one that will be used all the time by your child/children.

Don’t just buy the first GPS tracker that looks nifty. Instead, consider your child, their likes/dislikes, how they’ll incorporate the tracker into their style/life, and what will be the easiest to convince them that it’s good for them – don’t just force them to wear something they don’t like.

Durability

Kids are TOUGH on everything – have you seen their shoes and clothes? As such, it’s a good idea to find a GPS tracker that can survive their abusiveness.

Some trackers come with protective casing where others definitely look like an iPhone screen ready to crack after one drop. If the GPS tracker you choose doesn’t have a protective casing, you may want to invest in one (or a few for options).

Next, kids like to play in the water (i.e. mud, ponds, swimming pools). The best trackers are the ones that never get taken off, which is why you need to find a tracker that is water-resistant and/or waterproof. The less the tracker is removed, the more effective it will be.

Geofencing Capabilities And Proximity Alerts

Geofencing is the ability to create a virtual “wall” that alerts you whenever your child(ren) have wandered outside of their “safe” zone.

For instance, you could have the school, the library, and your home listed as “safe” zones. Whenever your child(ren) has left one of those zones, you would be alerted of the time and could keep tabs on them until they reach the next safe zone.

Another feature of geofencing capabilities is proximity alerts. Instead of having safe zones, you could have safe distances from a certain location. This would work great in a park and/or store. If the GPS tracker was more than 250ft from your centralized safe zone, an alert could let you know that you need to check on your child.

Listen-In Feature

Another great feature to look into is the ability to listen to the surrounding and/or conversations that are being held near the GPS tracker. This is close to “invasive”, but it can help you understand if they are being bullied on their way home, in the classroom, or at a sporting event. Unfortunately, this feature is being banned by a lot of organizations for “privacy concerns”.

If you do use this feature, you may not be able to use it as evidence of mistreatment, especially if a “rule” has been implemented against listening/monitoring devices and/or need for consent.

Double Duty As A Phone

Building on the listen-in feature, some GPS trackers can actually double as a two-way radio and/or cellular phone connection. Not all trackers have this feature, but it works great when you need to communicate with your child who isn’t old enough to have their own phone.

One thing to be aware of, a GPS tracker that acts as a phone will not have the same battery life of a tracker without this feature. Cellular communication can eat through a battery faster than you can imagine.

Location History

While a GPS tracker can provide information on your child in real-time, being able to go back and look through their location history can help you understand where they are going, how long they are staying, if they are being truthful, and so much more.

Not to mention, you can keep tabs on the babysitter when they said that they only went to the park. And, in a worst case scenario, you could see where you lost child had been, for how long, etc.

Multiple Users

And finally, being able to give other parents and/or caregivers access to the GPS tracker should be easy. But not all of the GPS trackers have this ability. Some only allow one username/password combination, making it harder to give out the information without revealing a possibly “shared” password (you should never have one password for ALL of your accounts).

If you know that you’ll be leaving the child(ren) with another caregiver such as grandparents, then the ability to add multiple users should be high on your list of considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about GPS trackers, you aren’t alone. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Q: How Do GPS Trackers For Kids Work?
A: GPS trackers work by using the Global Positioning System created by the US DoD in 1973. It is owned by the US government and is operated by the USAF. In 2000, selective availability was removed and other companies were able to use the same system in their devices.

GPS trackers connect to multiple satellites to triangulate your position based on algorithms and response times (a lot of advanced technology and longform mathematical calculations). The information is then sent to the cloud and your location is mapped out using coordinates. The best GPS trackers include Bluetooth and WiFi connections to help keep track of your kids even when they’re in a building.

In the past, trackers weren’t very accurate, only being able to narrow down the radius to approximately 15ft. However, new technologies and algorithms have narrowed down the search radius to less than one foot from where you actually are.

Q: Is GPS Better Than Bluetooth?
A: When comparing a GPS tracker against a Bluetooth-Only and/or WiFi-Only tracker, a GPS tracker will always win. GPS trackers are designed to work in almost any environment, using satellites to communicate with the device versus a Bluetooth signal which has to be close by and/or an unsecured WiFi connection.

However, some of the BEST GPS trackers also incorporate Bluetooth and WiFi to add even more tracking capabilities.

Q: Will I Need A Subscription For A GPS Tracker?
A: Most GPS trackers will require a subscription to a GPS tracking service. In order for a company to provide GPS communication, they have to be able to use the GPS satellites operated and provided by the US government. They pay certain fees and/or royalties to use the satellites and therefore, they require a subscription (generally monthly).

There are some companies that use cellular connections to provide GPS tracking. These companies claim they don’t have monthly fees/subscriptions, but they generally require a one-year purchase (one-time). Essentially, they are doing the same thing as the monthly subscriptions, but they’re getting everything upfront.

Trackers that truly don’t have any large one-time costs and/or monthly subscriptions generally aren’t GPS trackers, instead relying on Bluetooth and/or WiFi connections for their location services.

Q: Is Using A GPS Tracker For Kids Illegal?
A: If your child is under the age of 18, using a GPS tracker for your child is COMPLETELY legal. Your job as a parent is to do everything you can to keep your children safe, even monitoring them as necessary.

However, as a child gets older, there is a “grey” area of breaching privacy. Many parents, especially those of the previous generation, would not hesitate to keep tabs on their kids. But with all the new rules and regulations, you could definitely get into trouble rather quickly, especially if you decided to track your children without their consent.

The biggest “grey” area is the area of consent and/or knowing. If your child does NOT know that they are being monitored, it could become a legal issue. Also, if your child does NOT give their consent, it again could become a legal issue. While this is definitely a longshot issue, it has come up before. If you are concerned about this, then you could draw up some documents that state your child is aware of the monitor and/or consents to the use of the monitor (again, this is almost overkill but you can’t be too careful nowadays).

Most GPS trackers will be used for children under the age of 16. For them, this isn’t really a big deal as they most likely can’t drive and therefore can’t provide for themselves. Don’t try to hide the fact that you are monitoring your kids, be clear with them and open, and the likelihood that it’ll become a court issue almost resolves itself.

If you use a GPS tracker for illegal purposes, then it is illegal; otherwise, the use of a GPS tracker is completely legal.

Q: Can My Kid Turn Off Their GPS Tracker?
A: Some devices can be turned off and therefore rendered useless. Others have to have a certain “passcode” before they can be turned off. If you are truly concerned about this, you have bigger problems than a GPS tracker.

Q: Can Others Track My Kids Using Their GPS Tracker?
A: With so many Internet of Things (IoT) devices being hacked, could your GPS tracker be hacked too? Bluntly put, ANYTHING can be hacked. But the most reputable companies spend a lot of time and money trying to make sure that their devices are safe.

While no device is “hack proof”, there are some that are better at preventing hack attempts and breaches. If this is a big concern, make sure that you find one that has a proven security history and/or doesn’t have any reports of breaches online and/or other locations.

Q: Will A GPS Tracker Work Inside Of A Building?
A: While a GPS tracker can work in a building, it will lose its ability to accurately track your location. Most of the GPS signals are bounced around from open windows and/or doorways. Even Bluetooth and WiFi will only work so well inside of a building.

Even so, a GPS tracker will definitely highlight the fact that you are in a specific building, so long as it has clear communication with the GPS satellites and/or other networks such as Bluetooth and/or WiFi.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to GPS trackers. And no one wants to make the wrong decision, especially when it comes to their kids’ safety. Which is why you can rest comfortably knowing that our list has considered ALL of the features and functions. And, there’s a good chance that you’ve found one that will work perfectly for you and your kids. If not, the attached buyer’s guide should make it easy to figure out what will work best for you.

So, did you find the perfect GPS tracker for you and your kids?

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API