Fitbit’s first wearable for children aged 8-13 aims to help families stay active together with daily activity and sleep tracking, motivating challenges and parental controls to safeguard kids’ privacy. Unlike the adult versions of the device it doesn’t feature calorie counting.
Parents can control who their kids connect with in the Fitbit app so they can safeguard their kids’ privacy and stay on top of their activity. We asked parents on the HuffPost UK Parents Facebook page what they thought about the device for kids.
“My five-year-old is obsessed with my Fitbit,” one mum wrote. “She asks how I am doing on my weekly challenge with friends and she would love one of her own. I would happily buy her one. An early awareness of general fitness is so important, assuming it is done in a non-judgemental and gentle way.”
Another parent wrote: “I personally feel that it’s a great idea. Yes they’ll be some for who it becomes an unhealthy obsession, but that’s the same with adults. If its app is designed to celebrate and reward active behaviours hopefully it can help to promote healthier habits within the family in general.”
“I will be getting both of my children one as they have requested one as they want to keep a eye on their steps so they know they are moving well,” wrote another mum.
Some parents said their children already have fitness trackers and they’ve worked well, “My son is 11 and has a fitness tracker,” one dad wrote. “He’s a very sporty child anyway and runs with a club as well as playing football - he loves being able to see how many steps he’s done and the total distance he’s covered. He loves to see if he can do more than last week.”
The Fitbit is available for presale on Fitbit.com for £79.99. But some parents suggested cheaper fitness trackers for kids are available, including Garmin Vívofit Junior, from £52.00, (ages four+), LeapFrog LeapBand, £43.99, (ages four-seven), and iBitz Kids Activity Tracker, from £22, (ages four+).
However, Tam Fry, chairman and spokesman at the National Obesity Forum and patron of the Child Growth Foundation told HuffPost UK has cautioned fitness trackers are not a fix-all solution to childhood obesity.
“These gadgets are heralded to be the answer to everything - but are often reported to be unreliable and a lot of parents don’t like them,” he said. “The National Obesity Forum therefore doesn’t recommend them.”