Honey, I monitored the kids: Wearable tech and parenting

Bringing to mind Apple Watches and FitBits, “wearable tech” has begun to revolutionise industries from entertainment to healthcare.

Now, a new focus on children and parents brings to light a whole host of new uses for these futuristic devices.

Parents across the globe will be familiar with the worry and helplessness that comes with an ill child, especially when they can’t describe what’s wrong with them or how you can help them.

After a health scare with his eldest son, CJ Swarmy designed a wearable device to monitor children’s key biometrics and detecting unusual patterns. A brightly coloured device worn on the wrist, Good Parents Inc’s Kiddo monitors skin temperature, heart rate, sleep, perspiration and nutrition levels. It learns what is normal for your child through artificial intelligence and notifies you by mobile phone app if there is a significant change, also suggesting actions you could take.

Another gadget available for anxious parents is the Tinitell, a GPS tracker with live map monitoring. As well as locating your child, the device doubles as both a watch and a water-resistant voice-recognition wrist phone. Great for older kids, this techy-looking gadget can be pre-programmed with 12 contacts and is managed by parents through the Tinitell admin app.

Marketed as “your kid’s first mobile phone”, the Tinitell and similar gadgets once again raise long-debated questions over the appropriate age for children to start using a smartphone. How young is too young for a wearable device?

Unlike smartphones, wearable tech does not demand screen time but is designed to operate in the background with minimal participation. The wave of child-focused devices has a positive focus on physical wellness and safety. However, critics argue even good-intentioned wearable tech creates a reliance on technology from an early age, and encourages “helicopter parenting” where parents hover over their children’s lives.

We provide insurance to businesses in the wearable technology industry. Call Safeguard on 08456 888 284 or email sales@safeguardinsurance.co.uk to talk to our team.