1. Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical has been in business for more than 70 years and currently has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Bay Alarm Medical is also accredited by Consumer Affairs, and they routinely give back to the community with donations and sponsoring charity drives for many local and national non-profit organizations. And, they have a 4.7-Star Google rating from more than 2,600 real customer reviews.
- 30-day trial period
- No long-term contract
- Three different CSAA Five Diamond Certified monitoring centers around the country
- 24/7 U.S.-based emergency monitoring
- 4.7-Star Google customer review rating
- AT&T GPS help button available
- Coverage only works where AT&T service is available
- Customer service experiences can vary
- Some people find the wearable button a bit bulky
Bay Alarm Medical offers four package options which include an In-Home option that’s $19.95/mo., a GPS Help Button that is $29.95/mo. which is the one most people choose when looking for a medical alert button for their kids, an In-Car option that is $29.95/mo., and a variety of bundled package options that start at $39.95/mo.
Most of the Bay Alarm Medical options are geared towards seniors; however, any of them can be used by kids as well. If your kids are homebound, any of the plan options would work. But if your kids are active, the GPS Help Button option would be ideal because it can be clipped onto a backpack, piece of clothing, etc. Or, it can easily be worn on a lanyard around the neck.
Bay Alarm Medical ranks highly with consumers and has three different monitoring centers across the country that have U.S.-based CSAA Five Diamond Certified operators. And, they offer nationwide coverage using the dependable AT&T cellular network.
MobileHelp is registered with the FDA and currently has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. Their services are available in all 50 states and their products are fully integrated GSM/GPS medical alert systems. They offer nationwide wireless voice, data, and GPS technology with real-time medical monitoring and location tracking services.
- Industry leading response time of 17 seconds
- Variety of add-on features
- Customizable, affordable plans
- No long-term contracts
- No hidden fees
- FDA registered and FCC certified
- 30-day risk-free trial
- GPS location tracking
- No upfront equipment purchase required
- 100% U.S.-based sales and customer service
- Add-ons can get pricey
- Smartwatch requires upfront purchase
- Portable unit is a bit bulky
- The mobile GPS device is not a standalone unit (it comes as two required components)
MobileHelp offers six plan options that range from $360/yr. to $480/yr. And a Smartwatch-like option you can purchase for $350 plus the monthly monitoring fee. Some of the features and options you might not initially think are necessary, such as the heart rate monitor and fall detection. However, upon further consideration, the fall detection feature would be extremely helpful if you have a disabled child. This feature only costs an additional $10/mo. if you want to add it to your plan.
The MobileHelp app also has an activity tracking feature. This is an important feature when using it for a child. The activity tracker will show you daily activity trends, as well as send you an alert if there are any unusually long inactive periods of time and it only costs $5/mo. to add to your plan. Additionally, the Smartwatch-like medical alert device would also be perfect for a child because it looks like a watch and is a standalone medical alert device that has a GPS location tracking feature built-in as well.
3. Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian currently has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and has been recognized as having award-winning customer service. Additionally, in 2019 they were named the Consumer’s Choice Award recipient for medical alert systems. Medical Guardian also has TMA Five Diamond certified monitoring centers, is UL Listed, ESA Security certified, and FM approved.
- Range of 1300 feet in-home and unlimited when using GPS option
- Nationwide coverage
- No long-term contracts (but service agreements are required)
- Fall detection available
- No equipment charges
- Two-way communication
- Proactive Family Care functions
- Fantastic advanced options with Smartwatch
- Devices are waterproof
- One-time equipment charge with Smartwatch device
- Some plans are a bit pricey
Medical Guardian has three At-Home and three On-The-Go plans that range from $29/mo. to $49/mo. plus any options you decide to add on to your plan. These plans all come with 100% 24/7 U.S.-based monitoring and GPS location tracking anywhere there is AT&T service nationwide.
The portable devices are perfect for kids because they are small, lightweight, and standalone devices that can be easily worn on a backpack, belt, purse, pocket, or on any piece of clothing. And, they also have a two-way talk communication feature so the operator will know immediately they are dealing with a child and can address them as such. Additionally, the Smartwatch medical alert device looks like a watch so it’s discrete which might be important to some kids. Medical Guardian gives you your choice of either a pendant, wristband, or you can opt for the Smartwatch (for a fee) if you so choose.
GreatCall was founded in 2006 and currently has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. GreatCall also has had a plethora of prestigious awards over the years and has been accredited by Consumer Affairs. Additionally, with GreatCall, you have immediate 24/7 access to 100% U.S.-based IAED Certified 5Star Agents.
- No annual contracts
- No cancellation fees
- 100% U.S.-based customer service
- GreatCall Link app with activity monitoring
- Fall detection
- Upfront equipment charges
- Activation fees
- No annual payment discounts offered
GreatCall has four medical alert device options which are a Smartphone, flip phone, a wearable and a Smartwatch that works in conjunction with your Smartphone. The devices range in price from $49.99 to $140 with each requiring an activation fee and a monthly service plan fee. Their service plans start at $14.99/mo. and their Health & Safety packages start at $19.99/mo. The GreatCall service plans are billed in increments of monthly talk and texts (500,1,000, 2,500, unlimited) and monthly data usage (100MB, 250MB, 1GB, 2.5GB) each ranging from $3.00 to $15.00 per increment.
Any of the phones or wearables could be used as medical alert devices for kids. The phones are real phones, with a 5Star Urgent Response button, so they actually have a dual use. And the wearables can be worn around the neck, on the wrist, or carried in a pocket or backpack.
LifeStation has been in business since 1977. They are highly rated on Trustpilot and have been accredited by Consumer Affairs. Additionally, they currently have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, are UL Listed and have CSAA Five Diamond certified monitoring centers. Therefore, LifeStation would be a solid choice when it comes to buying a medical alert device for kids.
- No long-term contracts
- No upfront equipment costs
- Reputable, long-standing business history
- No deposit
- No hidden fees and no taxes
- Free shipping
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Price-lock guarantee
- Not compatible with third-party home automation/security devices
- Fall detection costs extra
LifeStation has two in-home medical alert options which might not be what you’re looking for unless you have a home-bound child. They do, however, have one mobile GPS plan which would work when looking for a medical alert device for a child. The LifeStation plans start at $19.95 and vary depending on the level of service and payment frequency you choose.
LifeStation is also known for their quick response times, which average about 20 seconds from the time your child pushes the help button. Additionally, LifeStation will replace all batteries free of charge and since they have a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try it before you buy it to make sure their system works the way you intended for the specific needs of your child.
Why Would a Child Need a Medical Alert System?
There are many reasons, some you might not have even considered, that a child would need a medical alert system. For example, if you have a child with physical or mental disabilities, a medical alert system would be a direct line between you and your child and your child and immediate assistance if needed. They are also great for directing your child to take his/her medication at any given time. The medication reminder feature works well for reminding your child when it’s time to take their medication and/or eat when you are not there to do so yourself. Kids with asthma, diabetes, autism, or any other medical or mental issue would benefit significantly from having a medical alert system.
Other reasons a child would need a medical alert system could include knowing immediately if your child is in an accident, if he/she is being bullied or feels threatened in any way, or if he/she gets lost and doesn’t know where they are.
The reasons for getting a medical alert system for your child might be even greater than the reasons for getting them for a senior. This is because many times a child doesn’t always have the mental maturity to know how to properly handle whatever life throws at them.
The Benefits of Having a Medical Alert System for Your Child
The benefits of having a medical alert system for your child are pretty much endless.
- What if your child was in bed and heard something at their window and was too afraid to come and get you?
- Or perhaps your child was walking home from school and a big group of older kids started following him/her and tried to provoke him/her into a fight…or worse?
- What if your child was walking home from school and a stranger tried to get him/her into their vehicle or displayed some other provocative gesture.
- What if your mentally or medically challenged child suddenly had a panic attack and didn’t know what to do?
- What if your child got lost trying to get home or was separated from the group at a school outing?
- What if your child was separated from you at the store, amusement park, zoo, or any other venue?
- What if your child suddenly found himself/herself in a situation where they were with other kids who were drinking or doing drugs?
- What if your child suddenly discovered he/she was having an asthma attack and their inhaler was empty?
- What if your child was alone riding their bike/skateboard, etc. then fell and couldn’t move?
We could go on and on about the many reasons getting a medical alert system for your child is not only a good idea, but it is one that could ultimately save their life!
Features of Medical Alert Systems for Kids
Here are the most common features of medical alert systems for kids in 2019.
24/7 Emergency Response
The 24/7 emergency response feature provides the user access to a professional monitoring center 24/7. This is the communication line between your child and immediate assistance when needed. If at any time your child presses the help button, a trained emergency response operator will immediately answer, assess the situation and will do one or more of the following. They will send help, alert a caregiver, or any other appropriate response for the situation. Without the 24/7 emergency response option, the medical alert device wouldn't serve any purpose.
When looking for a medical alert device for a child, you will most likely need one that has wireless connectivity, unless your child is homebound and won't be leaving the house. However, most kids need a medical alert system with wireless connectivity, so they can take their device with them to any given location. The majority of medical alert devices use a cellular connection to communicate and many of those also have a GPS location tracking feature included with them as well. The wireless connectivity is important because kids are generally very active and could easily end up in any number of places. Therefore, having a wireless medical alert device could be the only way you can find them if they become injured, lost, or disoriented, etc.
Having a medical alert device for your child that is easy to set-up is important. This is because many times you might not be around and your child needs to recharge/reset/change the batteries, drops the device or something out of the ordinary happens to it. The set-up needs to be easy enough for both you and your child to comprehend. Also, many brands have a customer service number you or your child can call if something happens to the device. The customer service team should be trained to help troubleshoot over the phone any device and its potential problems with either you or your child.
The 2-way voice feature is probably one of the most important features you can get when looking for a medical alert system for your child. The 2-way voice feature is what will enable your child to effectively communicate with the monitoring center if a problem should arise. For example, let's say your child is having an asthma attack and their inhaler is empty. If the monitoring center can talk directly with your child, they will be able to relay to emergency personnel that your child can't breathe and why. This will prevent the monitoring center from wasting time by having to dispatch help, then when help arrives to have to determine the problem then treat it. If the emergency personnel knows what the problem is ahead of time, no time will be wasted in immediately getting your child the help he/she needs.
If you want an unlimited coverage range, you will need a medical alert device that has mobile monitoring. This is because the mobile monitoring feature uses a cellular signal. A cellular signal isn't limited to a specific distance for it to work. It's only limited to the coverage of the cellular service network that brand uses. Mobile monitoring is a must when looking for a medical alert device for most kids, especially if your child is active and doesn't spend all of their time confined to your home. For an active child, a landline medical alert device won't work for you. A landline medical alert device will only cover your child within a limited range from the base station that's placed inside of your home.
There are water-resistant medical alert devices and 100% waterproof medical alert devices. A water-resistant medical alert device can withstand a limited amount of water and still work. However, a 100% waterproof medical alert device can be left under water for an unlimited amount of time and still work. Generally, kids are not all that conscientious when it comes to paying attention to details such as not getting their medical alert device wet. Therefore, when looking for a medical alert device for your child, you might consider looking for one that is 100% waterproof in case they forget to remove it when showering at home, in the locker room, or anywhere else they might encounter a significant amount of water.
Mobile medical alert devices almost always have nationwide coverage because they use cellular communication as their source. When using a mobile medical alert device, you should have nationwide coverage that will provide your child with monitoring anywhere he/she goes that is in the area covered by the cellular network that brand uses. For example, if your chosen brand uses the AT&T network, your child's medical alert device will work anywhere nationwide that AT&T has network coverage.
If your child is homebound but is frequently in your backyard or your home is large, you should look for a medical alert brand device that has sufficient coverage for your particular situation. Some brands only cover up to 500 feet and others cover 1,300 feet or more before losing communication with the monitoring center. If your child is active and frequently away from home, you will need an unlimited coverage range, which means you should look for a brand that has a wireless, mobile medical alert device that uses a cellular signal as their form of communication. This will ensure your child isn't limited to any given range before losing coverage.
GPS Location Services
GPS location services is another important feature when looking for a medical alert device for your child. With a GPS-enabled medical alert device, when your child presses the help button, the GPS tracker can provide the monitoring center with your child's exact location, so they can send help without having to waste time trying to figure out where they are. This is extremely important if your child is lost, disoriented, injured, or incapacitated to the point he/she can't get home or get help without assistance.