Kid Safety Awards 2024

We’re thrilled to announce the inaugural Kids Safety Awards on SafeWise. After years of testing and evaluating kids' safety tech, we’re spotlighting the best of the best! See who takes home the honors for GPS trackers, smartwatches, phones, and parental control software. Get ready to discover the top innovations keeping our kids safe and connected!

The Winners: Kids smartwatches

(Recommended for ages 7-12)

Best overall

Gabb Watch 3

The Gabb Watch 3 looks and feels like an Apple Watch but with more kid-friendly features like parent-vetted contacts, durability, and no open app store.

Read review »

Budget pick

Cosmo JrTrack 3

With its low monthly and upfront price, the COSMO JrTrack 3 is a low-risk choice for your elementary-aged kiddo's first smart device.

Read review »

Kids under 10

TickTalk 5 Watch

The TickTalk 5 Watch offers fun cards, emojis, and voice messaging—perfect for keeping young family members in touch with approved contacts.

Read review »

Active kids

Garmin Bounce

garmin bounce watch

For active kids who love to play outside, the Garmin Bounce Watch helps you keep track of them as they explore the neighborhood.

Read review »

Key features:

  • Parent-managed contacts
  • Closed network
  • School mode
  • Location features
  • Waterproofing
  • Kid-friendly features

What you need to know:

Smartwatches for kids have many of the same features as GPS trackers but add fun extras like games, music streaming, messaging, and fitness tracking. Most come with a "school mode" that silences the watch's features, but we recommend them for older kids who can use a device without too much distraction.

The Winners: Kids phones

(Recommended for ages 13+)

Best overall

Bark Phone

The Bark Phone is a "grown-up" smartphone with Bark's parental controls pre-installed, allowing more apps, features, and permissions as kids grow.

Read review »

User friendly

Gabb Pro 3

The Gabb Phone 3 Pro, with parent-approved apps, clean music streaming, and a closed cellular network, is a stress-free choice for parents of middle schoolers.

Read review »

Multiple kids

Pinwheel Plus 3

The Pinwheel Plus 3 works with most cellular carriers, making it an easy, kid-friendly addition to the phone bill your family already pays.

Read review »

First phone

Troomi A14

Troomi's four cellular plans offer increasing permissions for older kids, providing "grown-up" options with kid-friendly guardrails when they're ready for a phone.

Read review »

Key features:

  • App and screentime limits
  • Adjustable parental controls
  • Compatibility with other mobile carriers
  • Text and call monitoring

What you need to know:

"Grown-up" phones like those from Apple, Samsung, and Google have parental guardrails, but we focused on brands designed for kids. Their first smartphone should be like their old training wheels—giving them freedom to explore and support to do it safely. Our favorite kids' smartphones help form healthy habits around tech, like limiting screen time, using a safe browser or online filter, vetting contacts, and restricting app downloads.

The Winners: Kids GPS trackers

(Recommended for ages 6 and under + kids with special needs)

Best overall


Designed for kids with autism and special needs, AngelSense offers the most accurate tracking and parent-friendly features of any tracker we’ve seen.

Read review »

Budget pick

Tack GPS Plus

The tiny Tack GPS tracker works in 120 countries, in spotty cellular conditions, and only costs $3 to $5 per month for service.

Read review »



Tracki GPS works in 190 countries and is the size of a microSD card—perfect for keeping tabs on your little ones while visiting abroad or on vacation.

Read review »

Multiple kids

SecuLife Kids S4

With an SOS button, two-way talk, and advanced GPS, the SecuLife Kids S4 grows with your family, keeping kids safe as they age into more advanced tech.

Read review »

Key features:

  • Accurate location readings
  • Location sharing with other trusted adults
  • Messaging or communication features
  • Emergency button
  • Multiple wearing options

What you need to know:

GPS trackers are small, standalone devices that track a child's location throughout the day. They may have extra features like messaging, two-way talk, and a built-in SOS button. Location tracking is a common feature throughout kids' tech, but we saved the simplest products for this category because they're best for kids too young for their own devices, or for kids with special needs.

The Winners: Parental control apps

(Recommended for all ages)

Best overall


You can’t beat Bark’s comprehensive, easy-to-use solution for email and social media monitoring.

Read review »



Qustodio gives parents ultimate control, and it's one of the few parental control apps with a free version.

Read review »

Family fave


Family Time considers your whole family—from youngsters to teens. Manage online activity for all and monitor speed for new drivers.

Read review »

Porn blocker


Designed to keep kids safe from inappropriate content, Canopy leads the way in blocking explicit images and videos in real time.

Read review »

Key features:

  • Adult content filters and trackers
  • Text message and social media monitoring
  • Website blockers
  • Online predator alerts
  • App usage history
  • Keyword alerts

What you need to know:

With so many devices in our homes, it's easier than ever for kids to stumble across content they aren't ready for. Parental control apps can be added to phones, tablets, computers, TVs, and even gaming consoles to filter or monitor what your kids encounter online. As a parent, you can adjust permissions for what they see as they age, or tighten things as needed. 

We strongly believe that parental controls should be used as a tool to protect kids as we help them learn how to be responsible digital citizens. We don’t believe they should be used to spy on children. Parental controls that work like spyware (the software can be installed secretly and tracks things like keystrokes) were excluded from consideration.

SafeWise Kids Safety Survey: 2024 Results

In May 2024, we surveyed 1,000 parents across the U.S. about kids' safety topics to find out their top safety concerns and learn what they do or do not allow their kids to do over the summer.

What are kids doing this summer?

Are kids safe online?

Are kids safer inside or outside?

How we chose the kids safety awards for 2024

Image: SafeWise. Testing out kids smart watches.

At SafeWise, we've tested and evaluated kids' safety tech for years, but 2024 marks our first-ever Kids Safety Awards on This year, we're looking at four categories: GPS trackers, smartwatches, phones, and parental software. 

All of these products have overlapping features, such as voice calling, location pinpointing, and school modes, so we made sure to define each product category clearly. 

We landed on these guidelines with deep dives into customer reviews, parent interviews, and side-by-side product testing. Using this information, we created rigid matrices around the qualities we (along with kids and parents) wanted to see in each category. 

In our research, we encountered multiple mentions of repurposed "grown-up" tech, like Apple Watches and iPhones, used by kids. While these are good products, we wanted to avoid these more adult brands in this year's lineup because they can be hacked by outside sources or kids themselves. Instead, we focused on brands that tailor their products specifically for children and limit what users can do outside of parental permission. 

But kids' enjoyment and growth were also priorities for our evaluation. We understand that parenting styles differ from family to family, but we believe the best products offer strong but flexible guidelines for kids, along with features young users can get excited about. 

Who we are

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