The first year we took LittleZ to Disneyland, she had just turned 5 and this was her celebrating for her birthday. We took her about 6 weeks after her actual birthday because we wanted to participate in the Disneyland Halloween Party. So we timed it so. Before preparing for the trip there was talk about what we were packing, what we were going to want to see, what we wanted to buy and concerns about safety. Doing a theme part with a 5 year old is very different than doing one with a 2.5 years old. She is bigger, she is more likely to get distracted and she isn’t going to be glued to us at all times. This time it seemed scarier.
So when I saw the ‘My Buddy Tag’, I decided to buy it for the trip. Maybe it would ease our mind a little bit that if she walked too far off, or disappeared, we could locate her. My Buddy Tag is a bluetooth enable safety wristband that notifies parents when their child is out of range. You download the app, you put the bracelet on your child, and you’re supposed to feel more secure that if your child leaves the 80-120ft range near your phone, you will be notified and can locate them before they venture too far.
Features of My Buddy Tag:
– iPhone and Android Compatible
– Proximity Alert Notification
– Child ID Tag
– Kid Friendly Wristband of silicone is comfortable- Panic Button
– Email with Last Seen Location
– New Water Feature Alerts you when submerged in water more than 1 foot deep
This concept is great for parents who may be at a party or park and there are large crowds of people they do not know. This is really for the 1 parent to 1 or more children ratios. As we found the 2 adults to 1 child ratio did not work well with this application and device.
We found this useful when we were inside the toy store at Disneyland and Z ventured off to look at some toys that caught her eye. We were both busy looking at other things, and didn’t notice her wander off. The alarm went off and we instantly went to find her in the stuffed animals display. This made the device worth it in the moment for us because we were in a busy place, and she wandered off within walls.
Before going on the trip, we did sit down with Z to discuss the importance of wearing the bracelet and never taking it off without permission. We also discussed wandering off, and how busy the crowds could be. We talked about safety and what to do if she found herself lost, and even tried out the panic button feature on the device from different rooms in the house. It was just as important to us to talk to her about safety and how to handle being lost as it was to talk to her about using the My Buddy Tag. Teaching your child about safety and precautions is more important and parents should never rely on a device to keep their child safe.
We used the device for three days at Disneyland and 2 days traveling through airports and it served its purpose of notifying us when she walked out of range. There were some things that we hadn’t thought about though and they came up with continued use.
- If only 1 adult goes on the ride with the child, and the phone stays with the other adult, the alarm will go off, over and over and over until the ride is over and the child is within distance of the phone again.
- The device can not be charged, and when the battery runs out, that is it, time to buy a new device.
- Last known location of child is based upon where the phone is when the alarm goes off, not necessarily the child.
- There is no GPS.
I ended up buying My Buddy Tag on sale for $19.99 which was great compared to the normal price tag of $39.99, and I am glad that I didn’t spend more money on it because when I pulled it out to use this year, the battery was dead. So we only got 5 days out of it.
Overall, I think for the first time trip with Z to Disneyland, it was well worth it for us to use the device, and also talk to her about safety and precautions. It gave us a sense of security that if she did wander off, we would know right away and she wouldn’t be gone for too long.
Would I recommend this product to people, I think I would, but as always, its going to be based on what their needs are. As Z gets older, I can’t consider using the My Buddy Tag again, because the range is so short, and she can run the 120 feet within seconds and I wouldn’t know which way she went in a crowd, (she is too timid to do that, but as an example). For my friend with younger kids who might have playdates and go to events where they might wander off, its a great device, but not for an older child who might be more brazen.
After using My Buddy Tag, I can appreciate GPS a little more. In the future, if we end up feeling like we need another device to keep track of her in a crowd, I will spend more money to get something that can be shared between 2 parental devices, and has GPS. As much as I don’t want to be that person who might go to the dark place, the world is not the same as it used to be, and I would rather microchip a kid and know where they are at all times in unfamiliar territory than lose them and have something happen.
My Buddy Tag is slim in profile, comes in fun colors, is comfortable for kids to wear and is simple to use. It lacks bells and whistles, but if what you need is a simple alarm when your kid wanders too far, this is the device for you. The buddy device can also come out of the wristband and clipped on to pants, or slipped into pockets or backpacks. This device could also be great if you’re worried about a bag or purse running off with a stranger.
I recommend this for single children ages 2-4yrs or for parents with multiple children or are out numbered by kids and have a known runner in their family.