I wrote the other day about the Amber Alert GPS device — login or use a phone app to find your child’s exact location on a map. But in many instances, that might be overkill for some parents. While I like the GPS capability for my 5 year old, my wife and I rarely let the 2 year old out of our sights. That said, those little legs are still fast and he’s been known to make a break for the door while I was checking out at the cart-free stores. I’ve also got a 5 year old who likes to run and hide in the toy store or at least sneak away to another aisle when my attention wavers for 2.5 seconds.
Well, my five year old recently got a nice little surprise at the toy store when he got just a hair too far away from me. I had given him the Brickhouse Security Toddler Tag to put in his pocket. I didn’t tell him what it was… just asked him to hold something for me. When the device started beeping rather loudly, he came running!
The Toddler Tag is two parts — one part Locator Tag (the part that goes with your child) and the other part Transmitter. The transmitter has a keyring so you can put your keys on it if you like, but it also has a small antennae that extends to about 2″ — press the small button on the transmitter anytime and the Locator Tag starts beeping. You create the link between the two devices initially when they are first turned on and close to one another. Until you have the process memorized, I recommend carrying the small 4×4″ instruction sheet or at least taking a photo of it… it’s not complicated, but definitely not something I’ve memorized after a few times turning them off.
The other way it works is related to distance. The documentation states that if the Locator Tag moves further than 30 feet away, the beeping will go off on the Transmitter (what you’re holding). This will also happen if the Locator Tag is turned off. This is just an alert for the parent to look up and take note of where your child is located. The documentation also states that the Transmitter has a range of 150 feet — at any time you can push the button and set off an alarm on the Locator Tag.
In my six measured tests outdoors (sunny day, no clouds, no obstructions between devices) I managed to get the following distances between the Transmitter and Locator Tag when I pressed the Locate button: 80, 86, 92, 88, 86, and 82 feet. That works out to an average of 85.6 feet. I never got further than 100 feet. Any further and I couldn’t set the alarm off.
Now here’s the thing — I really DO NOT WANT my 2 year old getting further than 100 feet from me. If he’s 30 feet away from me when this thing goes off, that’s great. But in all honestly, at about 92 feet I was looking at the distance between me and the Locator Tag when I set it off and doing the mental calculations on how fast I could run to cover that distance. If I were a panicked parent, I could probably set a nice record.
That said, your mileage may vary. It’s possible the distance is related to battery strength, although my multimeter gave me a strong reading on the batteries when I checked. Still, if you’re wanting 150 feet, I cannot promise that distance… but I can tell you that I’m quite happy with the 85.6 average.
The device comes in one color — blue. My 2 year old doesn’t seem to have a care in the world about the color of anything I attach to him. He does, however, not like loud noises, and the first time he heard the loud beeping I knew I was going to pay for that. It’s not air-horn loud and it’s not going to damage your child’s ears, but it’s a good loud beep-beep-beep. He didn’t like it… and still doesn’t. The website says its a 56 decibel siren. I don’t have a way to measure it — it’s loud enough.
But that’s not the point. I keep the device in my truck and when I know we’re going somewhere that he’ll be walking (mainly everywhere but the grocery store or Target or other places with buggies), I stick it in a pocket or run the velcro straps on his shoe through the slot on the backside of the Locator Tag. I let him play with it for about two minutes and he completely lost interest in it because it didn’t make a sound, didn’t light up, or spit out a handful of candy. Once he got bored with it, putting it in his pocket or on his shoe is a piece of cake. It works exactly as advertised… when he gets more than 30 feet away from me, I get a few audible beeps on my device to remind me to take notice of where he is and what he’s doing. That’s why I don’t have any need for it at home where he has a larger range of allowed movement.
I imagine you could also use this device for personal use — stick it in your laptop bag, I guess. My laptop goes with me everywhere, so this isn’t an option for me. I guess you could also throw it in a purse or diaper bag or anything else that might get up and walk away on someone else’s power. Just be certain you’ve got both devices synched and turned on, and you should be fine.
You can read more about the device and order it at the Brickhouse Security website. While you’re there, be sure to check out all there other stuff — they’ve got some pretty cool security gadgets, monitoring devices, and other sneaky items.
Note: I’d like to thank Scott M. for providing me with a Toddler Tag kit to try out. The kit comes with the Transmitter, Locator Tag, and a velcro strap and instructions.