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Keep (Discreet) Tabs on Your Kids With These GPS Trackers

Peace of mind for you. Independence for them.

Your offspring want their own space. Yet you can’t loosen the proverbial leash. For jittery (OK, fine, stalkery) parents worried about stranger danger and just generally having your kids out of sight, GPS trackers for kids can be a sanity-saver. Bear in mind, if you invest in a GPS phone tracker, that there’s a fine line between being protective, and scary-paranoid.

As kids get older, they crave their independence. They want to walk to school alone, run out for candy, or ride a scooter without an annoying parent hovering nearby. And that’s why GPS trackers for kids can be one the best inventions ever for anxious moms and dads, as long as they’re using them in moderation and without being a creepy clinger-on. Like their vehicular counterparts, they transmit data to let you know where your offspring are at any given moment. And yes, we admit it, there’s something innately satisfying and, dare we say, soothing about knowing precisely where kiddo is at any hour. Make that minute.

See more: 5 Best Basic Phones for Kids

But before we press the panic button, a few stats to keep in mind. Per the FBI, on average, fewer than 350 people under the age of 21 have been abducted by strangers in the United States per year since 2010. According to the nonprofit Polly Klaas Foundation, three percent of children are abducted annually by non-family members and 99.8 percent of missing children come home.

That being said, we’re parents. And by definition, we’re vigilant. GPS trackers help us keep tabs on our kids, while also letting them be more free-range. Here are the ones we can recommend.

This best-in-class GPS tracker for kids is especially suitable for children who tend to wander off.

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This GPS tracker lets parents listen in and monitor their children in real time, and get a text if the child is in an unknown location. Parents get an immediate alert if their child leaves school boundaries. You secure the tracker, which can’t be removed, to your child’s bag or jacket, and use the tracker along with two-way voice with auto pickup speakerphone if you want to talk to him or her. There’s a special mode that lets share your child’s live location with search teams if he or she goes missing. Bear in mind that you need a subscription plan; but a one-year plan is included.

This GPS tracker watch is a handy gadget that lets parents both track their kids and call or text with them.

Kids can use the XPLORA watch touchscreen to make and receive calls from up to 12 pre-set numbers, as decided by parents. The GPS watch can make and answer calls, as well as send text messages with emojis. The XPLORA watch notifies parents when their child gets to or leaves a pre-determined location. Parents can set up safety zones, like school or home, and get notifications when kids leave those zones. You need a separate SIM card for the watch.

This top-rated and very small tracker clips onto clothing and shoes, and lets parents know not just where their kids are but who they're with.

Like the previous GPS tracker, the Jiobit also requires a subscription plan. It uses Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular, and GPS data to track your kids. It pairs with the parent’s smartphone to provide real-time location information and geofencing data. Plus, parents invite other adults to their “care team” and thus, know exactly who their kids are with at any given time.

Samsung's basic yet serviceable GPS tracker attaches to your kid's bag or coat, and has a battery that lasts up to 10 days on a single charge for continuous monitoring.

Samsung’s GPS tracker is an on-demand GPS tracking device connected through the LTE network that allows you to keep track of your kids. Parents use the app to see where their kids are, pure and simple. They can also create zones that will automatically alert you when the child gets there or leaves. Kids can send you real-time updates through the app when they’re ready to get picked up from soccer practice or a sleepover. You do need AT&T service to use it.

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