It’s no secret that parents are growing increasingly concerned about raising kids in our digital age. From worries over increasing screen time to cyber bullying, social media addiction, inappropriate online content, and more – parents are desperate for solutions. We have come to rely so heavily on staying connected but we don’t want our kids to be slaves to their phones. That is where kids smart watches with GPS come in.
What’s clear is that more young kids than ever are connected to the open internet via smartphones. In fact, more than 50% of kids under the age of 11 in the U.S. now have smartphones. While the research is growing – and concerning – we’re likely just beginning to truly understand the long term effects of early technology connection on our kids.
When it comes to the last 10 years of cell phones, parents have faced a difficult choice: On the one hand, leave youngsters with no way to call or communicate with parents; or on the other, give them a cell phone with all the challenges and dangers that come with it.
Why should parents have to choose between helping kids stay healthy & safe and keeping the family connected? They don’t have to!
Why The Kids Smart Watch Is The Growing Trend In Cell Phone Alternatives For Kids And Must-Have Features
As more parents are raising their voices, there’s a growing trend toward safe alternatives that don’t force families to sacrifice. Kids’ smart watches have quickly become a worldwide trend, driven 10%+ year-over-year growth in the First Device market. And it’s just getting started; that growth rate is expected to increase substantially from 2021-22.
But parents should know that not all kids’ smartwatches are created equal. Many devices available on Amazon are, at best, simply game watches or low-quality 2G or 3G devices that require sourcing your own SIM card and service connection. At worst, they are non-secure and leave your kids vulnerable to hacking or communication from strangers.
So what do parents need to know? Here are the top reasons why kids’ smart watches are a growing trend and what parents should look for.
1) Calling and messaging with a secure 4G connection
The best quality kids smart watches come ready out of the box with SIM cards, simple instructions, and easy to set up 4G nationwide connection. There are no shortage of kids game watches or activity trackers, but for parents who are looking for peace of mind, a kids smart watch with reliable service for calling a messaging is the top priority.
In addition, parents should look for smart watch companies with a strong website, clear privacy statements, and customer service to make sure they are getting a quality product from a reputable source.
As kids head back to school this fall after a disruptive and traumatic past year during COVID, more parents are looking for simple, safe, reliable ways to stay connected with their kids – without all the consequences of a cell phone. A kids smart watch 4G fits that bill nicely.
2) Kids smart watches with GPS tracking capabilities
Parents tend to worry. It’s our job! But that’s especially the case when kids are out of sight. One reason kids smart watches are becoming so popular is because of their location tracking capabilities. Kids smart watches with GPS offer extra piece of mind to parents. The best kids smart watches are equipped with a GPS tracking feature that can send real-time information to a parent app. For the next level of worry-reducing features, parents should look for customizable geolocation safe zones that let you set designated areas on a map and be automatically alerted when kids enter or leave. You never know when a kids smart watch tracker with real-time notifications could save the day.
3) A “training wheels” approach to technology
It’s amazing when you think about it. We use child safety seats in cars, and attach training wheels to bikes when kids are young. These vital innovations help parents keep kids safe and learn the proper skills at the right age. And yet, with technology, it’s a very different story.
Parents today are more concerned about technology and the internet than ever before. If you’ve seen the documentary The Social Dilemma, you already know what I mean. There’s a growing outcry from parents to push against the rapid rise of kids and cell phone use at earlier and earlier ages – and the consequences that come along with it.
The simple brilliance of a kids smart watch is that it’s specifically for kids – not adult technology with parental controls slapped on top. When searching for the right kids smart watch for your family, look for ones that automatically prevent internet browsing, social media, or calls and messages from strangers. These kinds of devices also empower parents with an accompanying parent app for managing your child’s activity and approving contacts. Shouldn’t teaching kids about technology be a step-by-step approach like anything else?
4) SOS features for emergencies
Every parent knows that heart-stopping moment when they lose track of their kids. And a parent’s worst nightmare is not being able to protect their child in an emergency. This may be the number one reason why many parents decide to opt for a connected device for their kids. Smart watches offer a natural alternative to cell phones, and the best models are equipped with designated easy-access SOS features that let kids quickly contact parents or guardians if trouble is near.
Top-tier models not only give parents peace of mind with easy-access emergency calling, but also have the additional feature of auto-GPS tracking and sending location updates to the parent’s phone whenever SOS mode is launched. These kinds of critical safety features often either don’t come with a cell phone or aren’t simple for kids to understand. It’s a big reason why parents are turning to kids smart watches as a better alternative.
5) A kids smart watch can help build healthy habits
According to Common Sense Media, kids between the ages of 5 and 8 years old spend over three hours per day in front of screens on average. That’s the highest level to date, and it’s why many parents are increasingly concerned. While some of that time is necessary for learning and good play (especially in this past COVID year), but more and more parents are looking for ways to help encourage kids to get outside and stay active.
Pedometers are a great feature to look for on a kids’ smart watch. The top kids smart watches generally include pedometers or step counters, along with other features like calling and GPS tracking. A bonus feature you can look for is the ability to set goals on the parent app that kids can track each day, week, or month. These kinds of simple tools can go a long way and help families find creative ways to stay healthy together. You might try setting a family goal for steps and picking a fun reward for the winner at the end of the week!
The growing trend of kids’ smart watches is only likely to increase in coming years – especially as feature packed options become more affordable. Ultimately it’s more than just a watch. A kids’ smart watch is about helping parents have peace of mind and giving kids the freedom to be kids! So are you in the market for kids smart watches with GPS? What feature is most important to you?