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Tools for Tracking Children with GPS

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Kids & Teens
Global Positioning systems (or GPS) technology is becoming an increasingly popular means by which parents can accurately determine the location of their children at any given moment. By utilizing an array of satellites originally deployed by the government for security uses, GPS systems can literally pinpoint the exact location of anyone carrying the appropriate locator chip. This allows parents to outfit their children with the GPS technology and to then have the power to monitor their whereabouts if any concerns should arise. The possible safety advantages offered by a GPS child monitoring system are substantial and parents are beginning to embrace the technology as it become increasingly "mainstream" and available.

There are a variety of systems offered, all of which hold some potential benefit for users. Simple wristwatch versions, for instance, are relatively unobtrusive and are convenient for a child to wear at any time. These wrist units, however, may be at a greater risk of being lost or simply forgotten, particularly by children not already accustomed to wearing a watch daily.

Cellular telephones are another popular GPS chip repository. As cell phones become increasingly ubiquitous, the idea of outfitting them with GPS technology to aid in child tracking has grown. At least one manufacturer is offering a GPS tracking system that houses the chip in a plastic sleeve that fits around a cellular telephone. Of course, these solutions require providing the child to be tracked with a cellular telephone - a situation that may not make sense for all children.

At least one manufacturer has started production of book bags and backpacks that contain the required GPS technology. These products are a perfectly reasonable way to make sure that children get to school and return from school without incident. They are very well suited to younger children, and may not make much sense for older kids who are prone to leaving the house for other reasons and will not always need school materials with them.

Other tools include a simple necklace that features the GPS chip as something of a charm, and other options. Even more GPS child tracking tools are certain to be released in the near future, as the field will undoubtedly continue to experience rapid and significant growth. This growth in the availability of products is a boon to parents, as they will be able to seek out tools that truly meet the unique needs of their particular child or children.

Any style of GPS tool can be effective. Certainly, the most important consideration in choosing a GPS tracking device is the unit's reliability and effectiveness. Most of the major products on the market seem to be at least reasonably reliable in performance. After appropriate performance levels are established, it is essential, of course, to choose a product that matches the needs and tendencies of the child who will be tracked. Parents will want to make sure they choose a tracking device that fits the child lifestyle appropriately.