Child Location Devices: They Come In Many Sizes and Prices

by TheWritingCowboy

A missing child is a parent's worst nightmare. There are several devices that offer alerts or track children. This article discusses the devices and which one might be best for you

Have you ever seen an “Amber Alert” on a freeway message sign announcing a child is missing? Perhaps you’ve seen news reports about such an event.
Recently I was at a local park and noticed a frantic parent asking if anyone had seen her young child. Fortunately, the child hadn’t wandered to far and was quickly united with its parents. But, it reminded me that you can’t be too careful when it comes to keeping your young children in view at all times.

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GPS child locator

The episode got me wondering about the current state of child location devices and whether they are useful in keeping track of your little one. I’m not talking about child abduction cases where police and other law enforcement agencies get involved. And, I’m not referring to older children who could be easily found if necessary through their cell phone or similar device. I’m referring to the type of product that a parent might use while she/he is at the park, at a friend’s house, a birthday party or a similar situation where it might be wise to keep track of their very young child.

Lots Of Choices

I did a little research and quickly found a wide variety of such devices. They vary in size and certainly by price. You can spend anywhere from $20 to a couple of hundred dollars for a child locator/tracker or system.  But, cost may be the last thing you worry about if a device can – at the very least – give you peace of mind.

With that in mind, here’s a run-down on several of the products I found.

  1. AmberWatch – This is a GPS-based system. It works by having your child wear a small tracking device on a lanyard or easily carried in a pocket or backpack. It costs around $100 plus a $10 monthly fee. This might be a little more complicated than most people want and requires some level of awareness by the child about how to operate the device and that might be more than a parent can expect from a toddler.
  2. A similar device is the AmberAlertGPS. It is also GPS-based and costs $125 with a monthly service/membership plan of up to $5. It too might be a little more technological advanced than a child can easily use. But, the monitoring feature is attractive and the SOS button that a child can use to summon help is nice.
  3. The Spark Nano GPS Tracker from Brickhouse Security comes in at pricey $150 but it is a stand-alone device – there’s no membership or monthly service fee. The device sends information about a child’s location directly to any smartphone, tablet or PC.
  4. On the other end of the price scale is Brickhouse Security’s Toddler Tag Child Locator. It comes in at a thrifty $30. But, this is not a GPS system. It is very basic. It attaches to a child's clothes and sends out a loud siren whenever the child wanders 30 feet away from the parent or caregiver who is wearing a companion receiver/transmitter. The parent can also push a button on the transmitter to sound a loud alarm on the child's receiver unit.
  5. Several phone/cell companies also sell child locators. AT&T for example has GPS-based devices for $130 to $150.
  6. BuddyTag has a whole line of child tracking/monitoring devices. They have wristband versions (like a watch) that sell for about $15 as well as the BuddyTag itself with various means by which to attach it (like Velcro) for around $35.
  7. A similar device, from the Home Security Store, is the Mommy I’m Here child locator. It’s a clip on in the shape of a blue teddy bear and wirelessly communicates with a receiver held by the parent. It operates, however, only in a range of 100 feet. It costs $35.
  8. Yet another very basic child tracking device is the Giggle Bug Toddler Tracker. It’s available at Amazon for a mere $13. Like Mommy I’m Here it emits a noise when the child is out of range.

What To Do?

What I’ve noticed in researching these products is there are many, many of them. Some of the companies that make the products seem to be in business one day and gone the next. In addition, price does suggest quality. A very inexpensive device or system may leave you with concerns about its reliability and durability. On the other hand expensive systems may not do a whole lot more than separate you from your hard-earned money.

My advice is to check out similar devices in stores where you can handle the device before you buy. Also, check out various parenting websites or blogs to see what others are saying about their experience with a particular device. A particularly useful website about one person’s search for a quality device is

Whether it’s high tech or low, high cost or economy, child locators are worth checking out.

Updated: 08/07/2017, TheWritingCowboy
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/08/2022

Revisiting your wizzley brought to mind something that I had intended to ask with the first reading.

Are the devices all battery-operated? If so, is there any indication of battery lifespans?

DerdriuMarriner on 08/07/2017

TheWritingCowboy, A problem can be when the location device and the bearer get separated.

blackspanielgallery on 07/09/2015

This is important for those with small children.

TheWritingCowboy on 08/06/2014

Thank you VioletteRose

VioletteRose on 08/06/2014

They sound really helpful. I agree, missing a child is a parent's worst nightmare. When we go to crowded places, I am actually very worried about my four year old. I am not sure if these are available where I live now.

TheWritingCowboy on 07/31/2014

Thanks for the thoughtful reply Jo

JoHarrington on 07/30/2014

These are such good ideas! It can be so nerve-wracking to lose a kid in a crowded environment.

With no little ones in my care these days, I most often see lost kids at places like the Glastonbury Festival. There you're forever seeing little ones running around in t-shirts, which have legends written on them like, 'If lost please call my Mummy on *insert number*'.

At Glastonbury, you get these massive surges of people, when one major act finishes and another is going to begin at another stage. I remember once going for a cuppa and seeing this toddler standing there looking scared. I ran over and read his t-shirt, but (being deaf) wanted to delay the reality of trying to call Mum. I lifted him up, so he could see over the heads of hordes of adults. He pointed across the thoroughfare, where hundreds of people were moving.

His parents saw us, we saw them. We kind of signaled to each other that all was good. We'd just wait a minute for the crowd to thin, then reunion would occur. It turned out to be quite fun waving to them, giggling away (naturally I'd calmed baby, but the sight of Mum and Dad did a lot of that anyway), then seeing Dad hurrying across the trackway when he could. Shows how easily it happens though.

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