Smartphones have only been around for about 10 years, yet we’ve become incredibly dependent on them. Aside from all the apps and fun games, smartphones also have safety features built into them, such as GPS tracking and Google Maps. This ability to track phones has made finding a device and the owner of said device much easier. Google Maps has made traveling and navigating unknown places a less scary adventure. Parents see value in those features.
Drawbacks of Smartphones
But smartphones aren’t without their downsides. Many parents don’t feel comfortable letting their elementary-age children have access to everything the Internet has to offer. Between that and social media addiction, cyber bullying, and exposure to inappropriate content, parental controls on devices are an absolute must-have. But if you don’t want to cave in to your young child’s “need” to have a smartphone, there are other ways to keep track of them without all the hazards.
You’ll probably get a lot of push back because all kids want to fit in with the latest and coolest gadgets, but for those who are literally only looking to know where their kids are, we have two very interesting options for you to consider.
Meet the Jiobit. This isn’t a device as much as it’s a tracking system. It sort of resembles Apple’s tile, but instead of attaching it to your keychain or luggage, you attach it to your child’s backpack or belt loop. Using GPS, wifi, and data, the Jiobit will let you know where your child is via an app on your phone. You can share this location with other people as well. The Jiobit costs $129 and requires a $9/month subscription to keep it active. This device is great if you have young kids that take the school bus or carpool service to and from school each day.
Relay Kids Phone
A second device that’s great for elementary school kids is the Relay Kids Phone. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t really a phone, rather it’s a square speaker with talk-abilities via cellular network and it has GPS tracking too. There’s no screen, there’re no buttons, it’s just a square speaker. Relay Kids Phone is a bit cheaper than the Jiobit, costing $50 and a $10/month subscription to use.