Kids are full of energy that adults can only dream of having. However, movement can sometimes be overlooked, particularly when there are sedentary activities like playing video games or watching YouTube within reach. Nowadays, a kid needs to make physical activity a priority from a young age, and fitness trackers for kids can be beneficial in this regard. These wearables can help them lead a well-balanced life and foster healthy habits like building a bedtime routine or undertaking chores.
So, what makes a fitness tracker kid-friendly? These wearables are designed specifically for children. They are simplified versions of adult trackers, and instead of advanced metrics like an ECG app, they incorporate motivational games and unlockable rewards. They focus on developing an active lifestyle and quality habits rather than weight loss or other such metrics. These wearables typically feature band sizes that are suitable for little wrists and designs with fun colors or themes, like Star Wars or Frozen.
Kids’ fitness trackers prioritize setting goals, whether fitness-related or just everyday tasks like brushing their teeth, doing their homework, or tidying their room. These trackers make mundane tasks more enjoyable by turning them into games, assigning tiered rewards, and possibly encouraging friendly competition among siblings.
While almost all smartwatches are fitness trackers, not all fitness trackers are smartwatches. Kid-specific fitness trackers are not as advanced as smartwatches, and they have no access to payment apps, social media apps or other Internet features. This design choice is purposeful to avoid the risks associated with such features, especially for young children.
Do kids need to use an adult’s tracker? For kids, adult trackers are not always the best option. Kid-friendly trackers are usually cheaper, simpler, and more durable, making them more attractive to children. Besides, adult trackers usually track metrics like calories burned, which could be distracting to children.
Furthermore, children don’t require smartphones to use their activity trackers fully. As long as an adult in their household has a smartphone for initial setup, kids should be able to get everything they need—stats like step tracking, setting alarms, and checking off chores-right on their wrist.
Are fitness trackers safe for kids? Yes, companies like Fitbit and Garmin have assured users of their kid-specific fitness trackers that parent control features like approving friend requests for challenges are in place. Also, the location of the wearer is never shared.
So, what health metrics should kid-friendly activity trackers track? The basic functionalities of a fitness tracker include step counting, active minute tracking, distance traveled, and heart rate monitoring. Besides these, factors like battery life, sleep tracking, and water resistance should be considered before picking a tracker for your little one.
Here are the best fitness trackers for kids in 2023: