Not knowing where one’s child is can be a parent’s worse nightmare. It doesn’t matter what age they are, not being able to locate your children is extremely nerve wracking. As a parent of young children with communication delays, I find it hard to even imagine what would happen if they got lost, if they’d be able to ask for help, and receive it. Nowadays, you really can’t take the risk to trust that a stranger would help a child safely find their family. To ease my anxiety and fear of them getting lost, I am always looking for ways to keep them safe and their location known. When I learned about the Life360, I had to try it out. Life360 a company is very dedicated to helping keep families safe and provides safety resources and education on Life360, through updates on the Life360 Facebook page as well as tweeting Life360 safety tips on Twitter. Life360 most popular resource is their free Mobile App (for Iphone and Andriod users). The Life360 mobile app gives parents a way to track family members’ locations, to find out if they need help and to see if there are possible dangers or threats around them. For members of the family that do not have a Smartphone, there is a Life360 GPS tracking device available for $99. A few people might think it’s extreme to consider attaching a GPS device to a child, but really it’s “better to be safe than sorry” and take measures to reduce risk of losing them out in public.
I contacted Life360 to review their GPS tracking device along with their Life360 Mobile App. The Life360 staff was very helpful getting the device to me and with helping me set it up with a Life360 online account and the Mobile App. They have very good customer service by phone and email. I created a Life360 account online with profiles for each of my family members. Since neither of my children have mobile phones, the GPS unit was linked to their profiles. My husband and I both have IPhones and downloaded the Life360 app. We tested the App out several times to track each other using the mobile “check in” feature throughout different areas of Florida and the tracked locations were accurate. This app continues to run in the background on the Iphone making it easy to automatically track or check-in, but I realized that this drained my phone’s battery faster than I preferred. So, I turned this feature off.
When I received the GPS device, I was impressed how small it was. It comes in a little bag zippered pouch on a key chain holder to attach to something like a backpack or possibly the belt loop of a pair of pants. Initially, I planned to test it out by securing it to my daughter when she went to school, but after more consideration, I decided not to. I didn’t feel comfortable sending the device in clipped to her pants and risk it being dunked in the toilet or smashed repeatedly during recess time on the playground. So, I tucked the device into her backpack. During the day, I tracked the unit using the Life360 mobile App. On most attempts, I was able to track the device. I only encountered problems tracking the device from my phone when I was in an area of town with poor internet connectivity, but that is a problem with my phone service, not the Life360 app or device. Overall, I believe the Life360 app and GPS tracking device are very useful and effective resources in locating family members and recommend it to families with children of all ages, but especially for families with teenager children that don’t always remember to (or want to) call and check-in with parents.