Is GPS Tracking For Kids worth it?
It is an undeniable fact that we, today’s parents need to be very vigilant when it comes to the safety of our kids and grownup daughters as well. Be it they are at home, apartments, schools, colleges or workplace, no place is confirmed safe based on what we come across in the newspapers and television in recent years. Being a parent, I am writing here about the safety measure or an option that I had researched about recently (i.e) GPS Tracking For Kids. This blog post would answer most of the questions that might arise in our minds.
Hope you had already read my other posts on Child Abuse – Are Our Kids Really Safe? | Things To-Do Before & After registering our kids at school | Parenting vs Effective Parenting that we had covered earlier.
In case, if you have not got a chance, do give it a read. Though they are more than a year old, I had covered the basics on the kids’ safety in much detail. In this blog post, let us explore a few points in line with the GPS tracking for kids and how safe are the kids when used in proximity.
That Skip Of The Heart Beat
Isn’t that true that our heart skips a few beats especially when our kids haven’t reached home from school at the regular time?
Isn’t that true that we become disturbed at times when our daughter is late from work and when they did not pick up our call & when we do not find our kids at the market or at any public places like parks etc.?
I am sure most of the parents would have experienced it. Yes, the world is evolving and we grow too amid new technology innovations. Most of them are good and at the same time bad if not used wisely or overuse it, just like our mobile phones. Hope we all remember how the Blue Whale challenge had impacted the lives of many kids, adults and their families.
How GPS Tracking For Kids Help Parents?
As a parent, we all want to know about the status of our children after leaving them at school and even when they are spending time with their friends during Holidays, especially if both the parents at home are employed.
Yes, GPS tracking for kids would help parents from unnecessary tension by letting us know on the whereabouts of our kids. GPS devices/receivers can not only be used by the parents for GPS tracking for kids but also can be used by the kids & women to raise an alert using the SOS (a morse code distress signal) button when they feel unsafe and need help at any point of time away from home. GPS tracking for kids receivers nowadays does come with an SOS button equipped in it.
Precaution Turned To Nagging
Parenting a teen is challenging. As most of us keep a cell phone with us during the day, it is not very uncommon to see parents calling their kids with an interval of an hour when the kids are away.
What would be some of the kids’ mindset when a parent makes a call regularly to him or her asking about their whereabouts?
Being in an adolescent phase, it is very normal for the kids to get frustrated. We, as a parent are cautious and want to know that our kids are safe but the teens on the receiving end might feel uncomfortable.
One option we have got to handle these kinds of scenarios is to opt for GPS tracking for kids. It would help both the parents and the kids to stay away from a lot of unwanted differences in opinion.
What is GPS?
You might ask me back, what a silly question, Vinoth?
Yes, most of us knew that the abbreviation of GPS is the Global Positioning System. This term is very much used in our daily life. As our mobile phones can act as a GPS receiver, we utilize it to the most starting from tracking the uber cab, food delivery person, find a location while driving a car using Google maps and whatnot.
Most of us exploit GPS technology which is good as we are in sync with the modern age and its devices. But, how many of us know anything about GPS beyond its abbreviation? May be 10 members in a group of 100?
We should not use any gadgets or technology without knowing the basics of it as that may lead to a fatal error. So, let that not be the case going forward.
GPS – The Basics
GPS does not use our cell phone towers or the internet. Instead, they work with the help of a chain of Satellites that are revolving the Earth.
When we turn ON GPS, a GPS receiver or device receives the signal from these satellites about the time and the position of an object in the ground.
The GPS receiver or device on the ground catches signals from 3 to 4 satellites, measures its distance from the satellites-based on the time taken by the signal to reach you and arrive at the approximate location.
Earlier, Ships, Aircraft, and Trucks were the ones that widely relied on GPS and we had recently joined the group.
GPS is a space-based radio navigation system developed and owned by the USA government. It is operated by the United States Air Force to meet the needs of Defence, Security, Scientific and Commercial areas.
GPS Is Not The Only One
Each country has its navigation system. For example, India has got its regional navigation system called IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) aka NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) developed by ISRO and Japan has its regional system called QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System).
Countries with Global coverage are the USA’s system GPS, Chinese system called BDS (BeiDou Navigation Satellite System), the Russian system is called GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and the European system called Galileo. All these navigation systems work based on the concept called Triangulation.
GPS offers two services. Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and the Precise Positioning Service (PPS). The SPS is free and that is what everyone uses worldwide. PPS access is restricted to the USA government and its Armed forces.
GPS receivers are a part of many commercial products, such as automobiles, smartphones, exercise watches, keychains, pens, and pendants. The GPS inside these devices is only a Receiver and not a Transmitter. So, the receiver on the ground does not send signals to the satellites.
You might find the information here interesting.
GPS is not only used in GPS tracking for kids but also to track elderly people and pets at home besides tracking vehicles.
How Can Parents Track Kids Using GPS?
There are so many devices available in the market like GPS enabled key chains, GPS enabled wristwatches, and GPS enabled school bags etc. to make GPS tracking for kids and loved ones easier. These devices need to be charged and turned ON so that the parent can get to know the status of the kids with the help of a third-party GPS tracking service provider sending details on to the mobile phones.
Are GPS Signals Received By The Receiver Bad To Kids Health?
NO. Because the devices that we use are just the receivers and they do not transmit anything.
Even if there is an emission, that would be nothing compared to the 4G and 5G networks in our cell phones, Bluetooth and Wifi that we use around us. Hence, we need not worry about any kind of radiations. However, GPS tracking for kids has its own advantages and disadvantages outside health.
GPS Tracking – The Major Disadvantages
I am jumping into the demerits section as we already know the merits of using GPS or similar navigation systems.
GPS devices can be used to stalk people without their knowledge. For example, if a device is placed in a car, the location may be tracked by others. This method can also be used for a criminal purpose.
Not 100 % Accurate
GPS devices rely upon receiving signals from at least from four satellites. If they connect only with three signals the positioning might not be accurate at all times. Problems can arise when obstacles such as walls, buildings etc such as obstruct the signal. Extreme atmospheric conditions may cause problems and GPS may show navigation slow error.
We Are Being Followed
When GPS is connected with social media or mobile phone applications it becomes easy for a commercial organisation to track the location of the user and exploit them.
Signal And Battery Failure
The GPS receiver needs to have enough charge to disclose the status of the loved ones. Most of the GPS devices like wristwatches, bags etc would need frequent charging ( at least every day). It is always possible to lose the signal especially when the device is available at a place where the GPS signal jammer is used.
Talk To Your Kids When You Opt For GPS Tracking For Kids?
It is a must to have a two-way open discussion with your kids especially the teenagers before you chose to track them for their safety as a parent. Because, when it comes to defining a perimeter in the device for kids, parents should be wary to avoid making the kids feel irritated. So, a good understanding between the parent and kids play an imperative role in smooth tracking. Make the kids understand that the idea of tracking is not to curtail their freedom, instead, for their safety.
Discuss with them mainly regarding “When To” and “How To” use the SOS button just like how you discussed with them about the good and the bad touch.
Keep them informed that the device that they use need to be charged daily without fail to make the device work.
In case, if they are already using a cellphone, as a parent you can ignore this point. Would any teen be failing to keep their phone charged? I don’t think so and I am sure you do agree.
How To Choose GPS Tracker For Kids
1. Consider the weight of the device.
2. Choose devices that can send text notifications to Parents.
3. Devices that allow the users to call for assistance, and optionally allow parents and designated people to find the kids position, typically within five to ten meters.
4. Pick devices that allow either one-way or two-way voice communication.
5. Prefer devices that also allow the user to call many phone numbers using pre-programmed speed dial buttons like in cellphones.
6. Try to find devices that can get recharged using solar power as well as electric power if available.
7. Find devices that are water-resistant at least to few meters.
8. It is wise to also focus on the device warranty duration and its global applicability.
9. The ones that have a reasonable number of service centres.
Research well before buying it.
10. Choose the tracking service provider that allows support to multiple devices of the tracker and also with provision to track via a website.
GPS signals won’t work underwater especially seawater as the signals cannot penetrate water.
What Are The Buying Options?
Image Credits: Pixabay