One of the scariest moments for a parent is when a child goes missing. In today’s world, there is no shortage of danger. With bad actors lurking in every community and human trafficking increasing at alarming rates, the importance of keeping track of kids has never been higher. Where once the term “helicopter parent” was a phrase parents shied away from, today, more and more parents wear the term as a badge of honor.
I admit, I’m a helicopter parent. I don’t trust the world around me, and I certainly don’t trust the strangers (and even non-strangers) in my neighborhood. Because of this, I’m always trying to keep track of my kids, which is why I recently started researching GPS tracking devices for my kids. After looking into different companies that offer GPS-enabled kid smartwatches, I finally decided on one: The Relay Phone for Kids.
My Search for a Smartwatch for Kids
My search for GPS-enabled smartphones for kids began in earnest after I lost track of my four-year-old for about five minutes at a crowded outdoor event. It was the longest five minutes of my life.
After frantically searching for my kid, while playing all the terrible possible scenarios in my mind, I finally found him crying as he too was searching frantically for me! At that moment, I decided I would never again allow a situation like that to play out. As soon we returned home, I wasted no time in hopping on the computer and searching in earnest for a GPS tracking solution for my kids.
From the TickTalk 3 to the GizmoPal 2 to the FiLip and more, what I discovered was a plethora of kid smartwatch options. However, I was uneasy buying any of them because (1) they all offered more than I needed, and (2) they were just a little pricey.
What I was looking for was a device that was so simple that even a four-year-old could figure it out.
- I didn’t need a device with mind-numbing games.
- I didn’t need a device with flashy designs.
- I didn’t need a device with chat capability.
- I didn’t need a device with camera features.
All I needed the device to have were three things:
- GPS tracking
- an SOS alert button, and
- two-way communication capabilities.
After a few hours of online searching, I finally discovered the device that filled all my requirements: The Relay Phone for Kids.
The Relay Phone for Kids
Though I thought the solution was going to be a smartwatch for kids, it turns out the solution was not a watch at all, but rather a 2in. x 2in. smart tile that straps on to an arm, a leg, a backpack, or whatever.
The company calls it a Relay Phone, but it looks nothing like a phone, as it has no screen. However, it has precisely what I was looking for—nothing more, nothing less.
With a price of $50, the Relay Phone is kid-friendly, easy-to-use, and has a ton of positive customer reviews online. Not to mention, you can buy it at Target, which is convenient if you’re in a hurry (like me) to get your kids outfitted with GPS tracking right away.
Here’s how the Relay Phone works
The Relay Phone is a handy little tile that looks like a small speaker with a button in the center. It also has two volume-adjust buttons on the side of the device. It comes in five colors: blue, red, white, teal, and black. And though it isn’t a watch, you can wear it with an armband or use a clip to connect it to a backpack. I’ve chosen to have my kids wear theirs as an armband. It’s surprisingly comfortable and discreet.
After you download the Relay free app, you can connect your family’s Relay Phone devices to operate them like walkie-talkies. To talk, just simply press the button on the center of the Relay Phone. To make an SOS distress call, just press the volume button five times. The SOS alarm alerts everyone connected to the family’s Relay Phone network.
You can also connect the Relay Phones to an LTE network, by enrolling each device for $9.99 per month with Relay’s service contract. This may be worth it if you want to track your kids when they’re not linked to your home’s wifi network.
When it boils down to it, nothing is more precious than the safety and wellbeing of our loved ones, especially the safety and wellbeing of children. For me, forking out $50 per device and a recurring $9.99 enrollment fee for the LTE service was a no-brainer. The peace of mind it gives is worth it.
Don’t forget to check out my review of Melaleuca.