REVIEW: While there was a time I actually had our daughter on a leash (it was a backpack leash, and we were traveling throughout Asia), I cringe every time I look back at those photos of her wearing it. However, our daughter was our only child at the time, she wasn't even two years old, and we were two, frantic, first-time parents, trying to navigate through busy, crowded airports. I feel like Papa Saigh and I have come a long way since our "helicopter-parenting" days. Our first child is now almost five years old, we've added another kiddo into the mix (Baby Jimmy is eight months old), and we're back to living in the 'burbs of Minnesota. While I've made a personal promise to never put my child on a leash again, there are still times when I miss her leash-wearing days. And I'm sure we'll feel the same when Baby Jimmy becomes mobile.
Enter the brand new MyKid Pod: A bluetooth kid-tracker with a slap-style bracelet that your child wears comfortably on his or her wrist.
We decided to try this device out on our 4-year-old, as we've started to give her more freedom when running around our very kid-friendly neighborhood.
The MyKid Pod is more than just a monitor that alerts your smartphone when your child runs off. It also has an alarm on the bracelet that alerts your child when they've wondered too far, and allows you to track and instantly locate them. The bracelet works without a cellular data plan, and can be used indoors and outdoors. Parents can set a range that they're comfortable with their child exploring (10 to 150/200-ish feet). Downloading the tracking app onto my iPhone was super simple, and only took a couple minutes to set up. While it's NOT a replacement for parent supervision (duh!), it gives parents the opportunity to give their child a little more freedom, while still knowing where they are at all times.
Linna loved slapping the bracelet on and off her wrists, and she'd wear the device even when I didn't have it turned on. We first tested it out with me inside our house, and her wondering outside (we wanted to see how far 150-ish feet really was). When Linna is playing with her friends in the neighborhood, 150-ish feet doesn't give her very much freedom to explore. However, we are very relaxed about letting Linna play at friends' houses in the neighborhood, since she is almost five years old. For kids who fall into that age range, where they're too little to explore without direct adult-supervision, but still big enough to "test the waters", the MyKid Pod is a great solution. It teaches little ones' about boundaries, while allowing parents' to find their "comfort zone" with their little adventurer.
At under $35, the MyKid Pod is an affordable option for many parents. I've reached out to the company about the possibility of creating a monitoring device with a larger tracking-range for older kids, and they've told me that they'll be putting more resources into something like this, once their first two products are off the ground. I'm very excited to see more from this product line!