EARLY YEARS: Smart watches for kids could be smarter, safer alternative to cell phones

TickTalk offers one of many devices on the market that can keep kids and parents connected in a safe way
TickTalk spokesperson offers guidance on what factors families should consider when buying wearable devices
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:23 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - From the minute they enter kindergarten, many kids start asking for a phone.

A wearable tracker or smart watch can be a good compromise.

“In our opinion, one of the best things about a wearable is that it gives kids a safer cell phone alternative-- something that’ll give parents peace of mind knowing they can always connect with their children, as well as know that they’re safe,” says Ashley Todd, TickTalk’s Director of Marketing.

There are several brands of smart watches and wearable trackers.

TickTalk’s smart watch for kids was designed by two parents.

“Everything happens between smart watches with our free parent app, which allows parents to approve their child’s contacts, see their location, block unknown callers from messaging and calling their kids,” says Todd.

Todd says the TickTalk4 smart watch doesn’t have internet or social media, and allows children five and up to develop a healthy relationship with screens without the typical dangers of cell phones.

“This allows parents to buy a few more years before they have to start having those tough conversations of cyberbullying and the effects of social media on our kids’ attention span,” says Todd.

Todd reminds parents regular cell phones aren’t designed with children in mind.

Whichever brand you choose, a smart watch can be a smarter and safer choice.

There are questions parents should ask before buying a device.

“From a privacy standpoint, are the smart watches you’re looking at for your children -- are they certified by COPPA, the children’s online privacy protection act? There’s only a select few that are and ours being one of them,” says Todd.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

--Make sure your child’s name, location and birthday information are secure and protected.

-- That the device has qualities like location tracking, emergency SOS contacts, 911 response

-- And make sure your child will want to wear it every day.

The bottom line, whatever wearable device you choose, it should lessen back to school anxiety for you and your child.

“This was created specifically for kids to solve the issue of family connection in the digital age. So, that is something we feel very strongly about - that the technology our kids are using is benefiting them. It shouldn’t be exploiting them or be another thing parents have to worry about,” says Todd.

You can get some smart watch comparisons on Safewise and ZDNET.

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