Fitness trackers have been around for a good few years now. Probably at least one adult in your home has owned one, or has been looking to buy one, to help them keep track of their exercise in an increasingly busy environment.
Your child may well have expressed an interest in having a fitness tracker of their own. Used properly, a fitness tracker for a child can be a great way to get children to step away from the television and gaming devices and encourage them to venture outside to play.
Let’s take a look at some of the kids’ Fitbits that are available on the market at the moment and the different features that they offer.
What is a child’s fitness tracker?
Fitness trackers made for children tend to be a bit more durable and resistant because they need to stand up to the rough and tumble of a child’s daily life. Wristbands are also considerably smaller, but in many cases, you can purchase new bands so the tracker can grow with them.
Other than that, most are just scaled-down versions of more basic fitness trackers. They count basic things like steps, active time, distance and sleep, but rightly omit calorie counting features which could be dangerous for impressionable youngsters.
There are a variety of Fitbits for kids that offer great versatility.
The Fitbit Ace is the first tracker that the company explicitly designed for children. It’s a nice simple design, durable with sturdy straps. The display is slim and shows time and basic readouts.
Fitbit recommends the Ace for children who are aged eight and over. It tracks steps, minutes active and basic sleep. The programs can be tracked by a parent on their own device to see how active their child is – it will give reminders to move at least once an hour during the day. The reminder is set as 250 steps as a minimum. The Ace also offers on-screen notifications.
Battery life is around five days, making it great for wearing during the school week, and it is showerproof – a handy feature.
The Ace Fitbit’s app has two views – one for parents and another for children. In the same way that adults using a Fitbit can win trophies and badges for reaching goals, so can kids.
Any data that is collected is private and not shared with the Fitbit servers. This means that your child’s information is kept safe and viewable only by parents. The Fitbit Ace retails at around £80 ($99).
The Fitbit Inspire is a very popular choice with all ages and it really isn’t hard to see why. This is a tracker that is smart to look at, easy to use and has a reasonable price tag. Like every other Fitbit, it has a fantastic mobile app.
It tracks basic steps, distance and active minutes. Because this Fitbit wasn’t designed for children, it does track calories burnt. However, if you can ignore this, then it does have all the features a child might need without any of the more complex ones. It also offers on-wrist notifications and reminders to move. The pop-in clasp means that it does not become loose on the wrist.
A clip accessory can be added to the Inspire to offer a different design option, for an extra £20 ($25)
This Fitbit is perhaps more suited to a child who is involved in sporting activities on a regular basis, where the calorie feature can be incorporated into their training regime. It retails at £70 ($87).
Fitbit Inspire HR
Again, not a Fitbit designed specifically for children, but this model is the best HR Fitbit available for a beginner. It’s one of the cheapest heart rate monitor-equipped models available at the moment.
In addition to all of the functions that you get with the Inspire, the monitor provides advanced sleep data. There is also on-wrist notification with the usual notifications and movement reminders.
The Ace, Inspire and Inspire HR all have one thing in common, and that is a lack of altimeter. In other words, it doesn’t count the floors you have climbed. This, however, is not a particularly important feature for the majority of people.
The Inspire HR has a buckle fastening which makes it more likely to stay in place. This is handy for ensuring the heart rate monitor is working correctly and that it doesn’t fall off or get lost.
The Inspire HR is a little more pricey with an RRP of £90 ($112).
Fitbit Versa Lite
If you are looking for a smartwatch for your kids, then the Fitbit Versa Lite is the best one available in the Fitbit range. Physically very similar to the Versa, it it lacks two little buttons on the edge of the screen and features including an altimeter, on-screen workouts from Fitbit Coach, WI-FI, and music storage.
However, it is cheaper than the Versa. A single battery charge lasts between four to five days, it looks great and there are also lots of compatible straps and accessories – let’s face it; kids like to change their minds!
The Versa Lite measures distance, steps, calories burned, and active minutes. It also features automatic sleep and activity tracking, movement reminders and on-wrist notifications.
The Fitbit PurePulse heart rate monitor, which is wrist-based, can help to improve exercise efficiency and monitor heart health. This is an entry-level smartwatch that offers plenty of fitness and health tracking capabilities.
A little pricier than the other Fitbits we have mentioned, the Versa Lite retails at around £150 ($187).
Fitbit Flex 2
The Fitbit Flex 2 has been discontinued, but it is still possible to track it down online at a good price.
The Fitbit Flex 2 is the simplest wrist-based Fitbit out there. There is no screen, using four LED dots which flash and vibrate to indicate particular functions. It is a durable and fully waterproof Fitbit for any child who doesn’t have a smartphone.
Featuring basic tracking for both steps and sleep. Small in size, it’s very durable thanks to the absence of a screen. Some accessories can be purchased, such as a necklace, so it can be turned into a pendant.
Whichever Fitbit you end up choosing, make sure to do your research first and really consider which features and style would best suit your child. This could make all the difference between a passing phase of interest in movement, and something that helps them keep fit and stay healthy.