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Did you Know there’s a Fitbit for Kids?

Did you know that Fitbit has a fitness tracker designed specifically for kids 8 and up? I wear a Fitbit Charge 2 and Mr. Tweenable wears a Fitbit Ionic. So when Fitbit began promoting the release of their Fitbit for kids, I was ecstatic because I thought I would get one for the kids so that everyone in the family could have one. We can commit to being active and have something to help keep us all accountable. The name of the new device is Fitbit Ace.

It’s fair to say we are a family of Fitbit fans, we like their simplicity. They run with a simple app on our phones. We like the fact you can connect with friends. We like the 1-year warranty. Plus we find Fitbits do what they are supposed to do, which is count steps, very accurately.

Why A Fitness Tracker?

A fitness tracker to me is helpful and essential because it truly motivates me to be more active. I push myself to move more when I’m wearing it. The one I wear has a setting that will remind me to move every hour. This works perfectly for me because I work at a desk and it’s easy for me to go practically all day sitting. The same can be said for children. These days we can be more sedentary than is healthful for us so wearable technology as they call it gives you real time feedback on whether you are on targe to reach your goal or not.

Kids are more inactive than ever before. Schools have smaller budgets and funding for physical education is being cut. In addition, kids spend less time outdoors playing than in previous generations. This means we are seeing kids’ obesity rates higher than previous generations too. Physical activity is a habit that is built in our youth. If kids are active as they grow up they are more likely to be active as grown ups. The trend of inactivity at younger ages does not bode well for their later years.

I’m focusing on kids here but the same is true, maybe even more so, for adults. To make matters worse, kids learn these habits from the adults they see and the lifestyle that the adults in their lives set up for them. As they say, “more is caught than taught”. I believe this is why my kids are interested in having one of their own since they see Mr. Tweenable and I with them. When my daughter found out there was one coming out for kids; she basically began begging for one. She is very interested in using one of her own. She will try to use mine if I let her. She always offers to get some steps in for me.

Why a Fitbit

Fitbit is not the only fitness tracker on the market. Other popular brands include Garmin, Xiaomi, Jawbone, Samsung. Fitbit has recently experienced some challenges. The Apple Watch in recent years has overcome Fitbit’s prior 36% marketshare. As it stands today, Fitbit’s brand is third in sales.

But Fitbit is the first to market a device specifically for children and address some of the parenting concerns regarding the use of wearable technology.  While it’s unsure what the future holds for the fitness tracker market, we like Fitbit because we’ve used one for many years. I’m actually on my third Fitbit and find that they are easy to find, come with a year warranty, work as intended, have a simple, easy to use design and companion app. The Fitbits work well for me because I have simple tracking needs with no need for multiple sport settings.

Introducing Fitbit Ace

Cost: $99.95 USD

Where to Buy: Amazon.com

or Fitbit.com

Sizes: The band is one size fits all for wrists 4.68 to 6.35in long.

Target Age Range: The Fitbit Ace is designed with children ages 8 – 12. It allows the kids to get in on the action while addressing some safety and security concerns.

Security Features: Most fitness trackers interact with a web based application. So children younger than 13 are not supposed to have accounts since their profiles are sharable with the entire community. Also some of the activities such as calorie counting and weight goals can communicate the wrong messages to kids at this age. It’s too early to focus on these things, instead it’s better to focus on physical activity feeling good and connecting us with others. Ace connects through a parents account and has specific parent and child views.

Activity and step tracker progress tracking: Ace tracks both minutes of activity and steps. It keeps track of both over time. When goals are met, a display of fireworks goes off on the screen to celebrate success.

Set goals and reminders: You can set goals for the number of steps per day, the minutes of activity, and you can set reminders to move.

Step challenges: Kids can participate in challenges with other family members.

Sleep tracking: Ace tracks sleep time and quality when worn while sleeping.

Rewards/Badges: Kids can earn rewards and badges when they reach goals and milestones. This is additional positive reinforcement.

Spill, shower, and puddle proof: Ace is water resistant to sustaing splashes and spills but should be dried immediately to prevent damage and is not designed to withstand being submerged in water.

Battery life/Charging time: The battery life is about 5 days and charging only takes an hour or two.

Reception

I will post a full Fitbit Ace review here detailing how it goes once we buy our kids theirs. But when I was doing research; I was surprised to learn that once it was released, the Fitbit Ace doesn’t seem to do as well as I would have expected. Reviews Amazon are about 50/50 positive and negative.

The positives are that people who love it, love it. It works as expected for them. The negatives focus mainly on the band size. Some users report the 6.10 inch band is too small and doesn’t fit 8-year-olds. The second negative being reported on is the difficulty with the application and set up and that kids will not have their own profile and the features are limited as a result. The third negative is the price. Some feel that the Ace is identical to the Alta2, another Fitbit device, but it does less, so that should be reflected in the price.

Is Fitbit Ace right for your kids?

Fitbit Ace may be a good choice for you:

  • If you are purchasing for a younger or a smaller child. Measure your child’s wrist to make sure it’s under to ensure a comfortable fit. Some have gotten around the smaller band size by purchasing the Alta 2 wristband accessory. But this solution is not acceptable for everyone since it effectively raises the price of the product.
  • If you are familiar with the Fitbit app and set up and do not mind reentering log on info when entering the application.
  • If you don’t mind entering family members into the family account in order to participate in challenges or you don’t generally participate in them.
  • If you have other family members using Fitbit and your child would like to participate.

Fitbit Ace may not be a good choice for you:

  • If your child already has their own cell phone or other device which will support an app and you do not mind them using the app and community.
  • If they have wrists larger than 6.10 in.
  • If your child finds this type of information about their activity level demotivating.

Tell me in the comments below…

Do you have a Fitbit? Would you consider buying a fitness tracker for your kids? What would be your pros/cons of getting them one? If you have a Fitbit Ace, what are your thoughts on it?

Or, if you have questions about the Fitbit Ace, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer those for you.

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Nicole

16 Comments

  1. Wonderful information
    I can honestly say I have never considered buying a fit bit but this sure made me think twice!

    • Hey Koby,
      Thanks for stopping by. I love mine and I’m hoping it can encourage kids to be more active like it encourages me to be.

  2. Hi Nicole,
    Great information. This is what I’m looking for. I wanted to get one for my nephew’s birthday. He will be turning 9 in October. Does Fitbit comes in different color?
    Thank you.

  3. Likewise to the above comment. I never considered a Fitbit for children. The fact that children are more inactive than ever can be debated. I know that games attract children’s attention more, but children are in more activities now ’cause their parents really push them. School, sports, music, etc. I see it as I work in a music school. However, I do believe children need more activity like we had when we were younger.

    • Hi Lane,
      You are so right, kids are a lot less active. I remember growing up and getting kicked out of the house every day to play until the street lights came on.

  4. Great article – It’s very cool to read about how your whole family — including the kids! — use Fitbits to keep you moving and healthy. Great idea! Love the whole theme of your website and your interesting, helpful topics – an excellent resource for parents and I look forward to reading more!

    • Hi Kate,
      I appreciate you being here. Thanks for the kind comment. It’s really fun for everyone to have one, a little friendly competition to help encourage everyone to reach their goal has been fun too. Please stop by again.

  5. Awesome. I know Fitbit for a long time, but I didn’t know any about Fitbit for kids. before, I am considering which brand is better for me, but I have no time to do a research. fitbit seems the best choice for me because I can wear Fitbit with my son too.

    I always sit in front of a computer desk all the day. I think I need a Fitbit to push myself to move more. I don’t want to get fat anymore. it’s the time to change.

    I have one question, can Fitbit connect to my mobile?

    Thx for your sharing,
    CT

    • Hi CT,
      I sit at a desk all day too. I love that Fitbit has a function where you can get reminders to move every hour. I use the Fitbit app on my mobile phone.

  6. That’s awesome! I think it’s great for kids to track their fitness, especially now with kids wanting to spend all their spare time on iPads or other devices playing games. Hopefully fitbits and other fitness trackers help to motivate kids to be active and take care of their bodies. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Melissa,
      I think it’s helpful because it gives kids feedback. It helps to set a goal and then a device like a Fitbit give you feedback on whether you’re doing what you set out to do.

  7. Informative review about Fitbit for children. You are right children nowadays are not so physically active as before. I can find my kids spending more time in front of a computer or holding their smartphones most of the time which limits them from physical activities which is not good for their health but also their social intelligence. Fitness tracker for kids age 8 to 12 I think is not so practical since kids may not realize its important. As you said they would not be concern about the calories burned but if the Fitbit Ace has a function like playing a game it would really motivate them to do a certain task then get rewards.

    • Thanks for your comment, Dan. That would be interesting to see if there was a way to turn it into a game. Right now the mobile app makes it kind of like a race in that you can see how many steps you have in comparison to friends and family that have been added to their account. I remember the Pokemon go craze. I thought that was a good way to get kids out, active and social.

  8. Interesting article, however I’m not a fan of buying such things for my child younger than 11, it has a lot of afvantages, so we will certainly check this out!

    • Hi Emmanuel, I can understand and respect the reluctance. I was especially worried about them losing it because it’s quite an investment. I think the buckle strap helps and it’s one of their more kid-friendly trackers. If you get a chance to check it out, let us know what your final thoughts are.

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