Emergency Contact Device for Kids
November 6, 2020 11:30 AM   Subscribe

What is the current state of the art/state of play for non-phone emergency calling devices for kids? If it's horrible, how have you handled keeping in contact with your kid (8-10), who you do not want to have access to a full smartphone, when they head off to the park?
posted by OmieWise to Human Relations (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: I know some people who have recently started using Apple Watch SEs for that purpose. Sounds like it works ok.
posted by primethyme at 11:40 AM on November 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


Best answer: My kid had a flip phone for several years before I got her a smart phone cuz she was taking the bus by herself. It was fine but the quality of them seems pretty low so it broke a lot.
posted by latkes at 12:02 PM on November 6, 2020


Best answer: You can get a sonim xp3 non-smart phone used for like $40.
posted by aniola at 12:04 PM on November 6, 2020


Best answer: You can get a Tello plan with no data, 100 minutes, and unlimited texting for $5/month.
posted by aniola at 12:06 PM on November 6, 2020 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Tello plan, no data, unlimited talk/text is $8.
posted by aniola at 12:08 PM on November 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


Best answer: For anyone who can't go for Tello/etc. and whose park is within striking distance, we actually have walkie-talkies for this purpose. Modern ones have a good range and work well where we are (may depend on topography a bit.)
posted by warriorqueen at 12:16 PM on November 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


Best answer: we've used this: https://mykidsconnect.com/
no apps or internet, not great for anything other than emergency calling/texting to pre-set numbers, which was exactly what we were looking for! also has a GPS function.
posted by eseuss at 12:24 PM on November 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Kids can get their ham radio license. My partner got his when he was like 10, and his mom got one at the same time. In case you like the walkie talkie idea but are out of range.
posted by aniola at 12:49 PM on November 6, 2020


Best answer: we actually have walkie-talkies for this purpose. Modern ones have a good range

Family Radio Service (FRS) devices are what you are looking for if you go this route. It's FM instead of AM and on it's own frequencies (IE not shared with baby monitors and cordless phones). Many come with "privacy codes" but it should be noted that these are more about squelching unwanted traffic; anyone with a scanner can still listen in.
posted by Mitheral at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2020


Best answer: My 9 year old a has a GizmoWatch through Verizon. It allows children to only receive/send calls to phone numbers you allow. Same with text messages, except that they’re limited to a menu of replies that you can customize (eg, “Yes”, “Be home soon”, etc). It’s $10/month through Verizon.
posted by photovox at 4:19 PM on November 6, 2020


Response by poster: We got the TickTalk watch with a small plan, and it's great.
posted by OmieWise at 4:53 AM on March 5


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