Do Child Locators Really Work?
As a parent of a toddler, going to public places is always a bit of a struggle. My nearly 2 year old is done with the stroller and he insists on walking everywhere. Who can blame him when there’s so much to explore hands-on? Yet as any parent or caregiver knows, small children can disappear within seconds, walking one way when you’re going another. Since those handy child leashes now carry a less than positive reputation, parents are left carrying their tots or pulling them along by hand.
When I heard about child locators, I had to do some research. What are they? Do they really work? Are they reliable? After all, this is my child I would be putting into the hands of a child locator if he were to wander off.
Child locators are electronic devices that use technology to communicate where a child is. The first type is called a short range locator and it uses radio technology to alert where the child is. The positives: these devices provide instant feedback and are ideal for parks, playgrounds or other public places with large groups of people. The drawbacks: they only work in short range areas, most around 600 feet outdoors and 250 feet indoors. Plus, they will need to be taken with you everywhere; just one more thing to dump in the purse.
The second type is a long range locator which uses GPS technology to locate a child. The positives are that these locators are highly reliable, work for long distances and are ideal for tracking teens who are just learning to drive. While long range locators provide accurate results and can prove beneficial in times of crises, they also require an Internet connection, meaning that you need online access on a phone or computer. This can be difficult if you’re in area with poor reception.
Overall, I think these gadgets can certainly be helpful, especially if planning a busy day at a public outing. Many of them have cute teddy bear locators that the child wears and cost anywhere between $10 and $160, depending on features and brand. Not only are they great for busy toddlers, but also for older kids who want a bit of freedom at amusement and water parks, as well as teens who are learning to drive.
Image c/o techpin.com