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Yay or Nay: Child Fitness Monitors

MorningGrace73
MorningGrace73 Posts: 36 Member
I am the mother of a 7 year old, very active and healthy boy that I've thankfully never had to worry about health-wise. He prefers veggies to eating out, is very active and likes water over juice! Personally, I'd never invest in a product such as this (simply due to lack of need) but learning of it has caused me to wonder whether I think its a good idea or not.

https://www.fitbit.com/shop/ace?utm_source=&utm_medium=paidsearch&gclid=CjwKCAjw06LZBRBNEiwA2vgMVdH18qgJZKSD79y9VPuThtL8FHhzXU5ncEHdshA97oLa9eSP35u9hhoCbtIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CN7DlZSm4NsCFVM6TwodGZgFlg

Activity monitors for kiddos age 8 and up! I am curious to hear the thoughts of the community on this! On one hand, for our kiddos that are far more sedentary than others, might have a hard time being motivated to going outside, or perhaps even over eat on sweets and crap food - I can see this being a wonderful tool.

On the other hand, getting into adolescence and all the unattainable images girls and boys see and the impacts to body image, could this potentially be a tool that could further damage a child's self image?
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Replies

  • saragd012
    saragd012 Posts: 706 Member
    I don't see the harm in it, especially if the child is excited about it. I remember "stealing" my mothers pedometer when I was a kid, often enough that they bought me my own (probably from the dollar store :D ) and I thought I was the coolest with it tied to my shoe laces. I was already a very active kid, but it was fun to see how many "points" I could get every day. Unless you're also calorie restricting their diet or trying to make the focus on the weight control aspect of it, I don't think most children would relate it to their body image.
  • tennisdude2004
    tennisdude2004 Posts: 5,623 Member
    I’d think it’s a great thing for kids that want then. Anything they find fun or interesting which will get them moving more can only be good.
  • CatchMom11
    CatchMom11 Posts: 452 Member
    urloved33 wrote: »
    if you are talking about monitoring a "problem" child...no way. in fact omg. play w them..engage them yes. monitor them HELL NO.

    My nephew is a big boy - he's 11 but he's 5'7" and close to 200 lbs. He's pretty active though (plays football, goes hunting & fishing, does some training with his dad (firefighter), but he does wear a Fitbit to stay motivated to try and go above what his norm is. So I wouldn't say "no way"; I'd say it just depends on the child. My guy loves challenging himself! He'll even ask his mom, dad or one of his sisters on occasion to go for a walk to hit his "personal" target (not the standard 10K).
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,020 Member
    It would be just a toy. A thing of interest to some.

    My middle son used to use a step counter when he was around 8. He loved gadgets. It was of no use for encouraging fitness or weight loss.

    But our step counter was a gift after running a 5K race. Not a $100 gadget. My guess is that it would mostly be a waste of money.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    My 10yo is super excited about this! I actually contacted Fitbit last year saying they should make one for kids, and I'm glad they listened. We've been using our Fitbits for 1.5 year now and she's been wanting one forever, but the kid options are basically junk.

    It can be a good reminder for kids to get moving, instead of watching TV... I'm all for it. She thinks it's a fun tool (she has NO weight issue at all) and likes competing with us for steps... I'm just cringing a bit at the price tag so she'll have to wait for Christmas or something...
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,428 Member
    If someone wants to spend the money on a fitness tracker for their child I don't think it would be harmful as long as the parents keep it positive. If the adults make using such a device competitive, punishing and negative instead of fun gadget and a reminder to be active then it could be damaging. That could be said about putting your child in sports or PE classes though too.

    I would not spend that much on an activity tracker with all the bells and whistles for a child. I'd get a less expensive simple pedometer that they could break or lose without it being a big deal. I generally think kids need less gadgets to pay attention to.

  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    I'd rather see a kid with that then tethered to a video game
  • k8eekins
    k8eekins Posts: 2,266 Member
    edited June 2018
    I am the mother of a 7 year old, very active and healthy boy that I've thankfully never had to worry about health-wise. He prefers veggies to eating out, is very active and likes water over juice! Personally, I'd never invest in a product such as this (simply due to lack of need) but learning of it has caused me to wonder whether I think its a good idea or not.

    https://www.fitbit.com/shop/ace?utm_source=&utm_medium=paidsearch&gclid=CjwKCAjw06LZBRBNEiwA2vgMVdH18qgJZKSD79y9VPuThtL8FHhzXU5ncEHdshA97oLa9eSP35u9hhoCbtIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CN7DlZSm4NsCFVM6TwodGZgFlg

    Activity monitors for kiddos age 8 and up! I am curious to hear the thoughts of the community on this! On one hand, for our kiddos that are far more sedentary than others, might have a hard time being motivated to going outside, or perhaps even over eat on sweets and crap food - I can see this being a wonderful tool.

    On the other hand, getting into adolescence and all the unattainable images girls and boys see and the impacts to body image, could this potentially be a tool that could further damage a child's self image?

    As a God-parent, I'm in favour of these health & fitness wearables for children. As rare as it is - myocardial infarction amongst teens and children (here and abroad) during training sessions or when playing a sport (over the past 5 years - due to cardiac abnormalities or heat exhaustion) was what came to mind, at seeing your discussion topic earlier today.

    ETA: I'm an ardent believer that conscious healthy habits and general awareness of an active outdoor lifestyle, if it is to be punctuated and is to be encouraged accessorising child/ren with these sorts of gadgets - is tantamount to progressive nurturing.
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,755 Member
    Many kids I know (personal life and work) wear activity trackers/watches. They seem to be great at getting them moving--many have it connected to an app of some sort that turns it in to a game (so many steps gets them to new levels, or get certain rewards or abilities on the game)

    I know a few of the older kids (9/10/11) have adult ones that give calorie info, but most of the kids don't care about that bit or are completely clueless as to what it means.
  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    Gamification of exercise can be a fun way to get the family moving and we've seen it's popularity - Playing sports in school, Nintendo Wii, Pokemon Go. Collecting steps and competing with friends and family isn't much different, this is just a decent tool to let you do that.

    I can think of some cons though, but it's going to depend on the child and family dynamics - a child's attention span and longevity of interest. Is this something that's going to be cool for 3 weeks, then ignored? Are parents going to push this on kids with weight issues and use it as an incentive in a way that creates stress for the child? Will kids be punished or ostracized if they don't move enough in a day?
  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,346 Member
    My kids have Garmin VivoFit Jrs and we like to compare steps and who has more... On Saturday if we get 10K steps we go out for ice cream and if not we don't. I don't see an issue with this, it's not like I'm putting them on a diet and they were really interested in my FitBit when they didn't have a tracker and I did.
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,582 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    I'd say "No dear. For God's sake just go out and play. I'll call you when dinner's ready. Yes we're having water and vegetables."

    "Mom, can I eat at Timmy's tonight?" :D
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,582 Member
    To the debate at hand, I think it greatly depends on the child and the motivation of the parent buying it.
  • MorningGrace73
    MorningGrace73 Posts: 36 Member
    I appreciate all the feedback and it sounds like for the most part, people support the idea so long as a stigma isn't applied by someone else. The only thing that keeps me from getting one for my kiddo, other than the price, is his amazing ability to lose everything! I can get him a $2 watch, or a $20 watch, he will lose both - within a matter of days!
  • 777Gemma888
    777Gemma888 Posts: 9,580 Member
    I appreciate all the feedback and it sounds like for the most part, people support the idea so long as a stigma isn't applied by someone else. The only thing that keeps me from getting one for my kiddo, other than the price, is his amazing ability to lose everything! I can get him a $2 watch, or a $20 watch, he will lose both - within a matter of days!


    Some are GPS enabled.