I’m really excited to share about something new I’ve discovered. As our kids are getting older I’ve started to wonder at what age they would need a phone. (All opinions are my own, we purchased the item at full price, but this post does contains affiliate links that if you decide to purchase an item through my links I may earn a small commission, always reach out if you have questions)
Things have changed SO much since I was a kid! First off there are plenty of kids at my kids elementary school that already have phones so I know “x-grade” is not always the answer. I’ve also talked to people with older kids that said they ended up getting their child a phone simply because of needing to be able to communicate with them, and not having another way, even though they weren’t very excited about the idea.
We aren’t completely against screens, we own a tv, i-pad, and smart phones of our own, but we do try to make conscious choices for our family that put limits on screens, and know that we personally want to delay smart phones for our own kiddos. Happy to share more about that if you are interested.
So back to the point! Our oldest just turned 10 and we wanted to be able to give a little more freedom to ride his bike around the block, or go to a near by friends house, but really didn’t feel comfortable doing that without him having a way to reach us if he needed to, and a way for us to see that he made it where he was headed.
The more I looked into it the better it sounded. We felt like this could really be the answer we wanted. Let me give you a run down on what it is and what it can do. If you are interested you can get a free first month of service with my referral code!
So it’s kind of like a walkie talkie, but will reach anywhere that has cell reception. It will also switch to wifi when available.
There were a couple of questions I had, some that I couldn’t seem to find any answers to on the website. So I thought I would try and answer those here.
- It says you can talk to multiple people, but I wasn’t sure how that would work. I was curious if say we had me, my husband, grandparents, and a a friend on there if every time my son talked into it every single one of us would get the message?? Thankfully that is NOT the case! It has up to 25 different programed channels. A channel can be a one on one conversation, or you can have a group channel. Then you just press the power button quickly to toggle through the channels.
- It also has a couple fun channels you can add, a joke channel (think laffy taffy jokes, kid appropriate, but very corny ;)) a channel that gives your voice a slight echo, a music channel, and a translator channel that will translate what you say in English to Spanish or vice versa (not sure if it offers other languages, but thats what it was preset with when we got it). They only have those channels right now, but say they have plans to add more.
- How does the GPS work? The relay is linked to a smart phone through the relay app. If you have your child linked to your phone then you can pull up location on it and it will let you know where the relay is. I had my son put it in his pocket and take a bike ride around our street so I could watch it. As he rode around the little dot on my phone jumped from house to house. 🙂 It’s not an instant update so it basically looked like a dot jumping from one house down a couple houses and then down a couple more, but I was still pleased with that.
- Battery life. I saw a couple complaints that they battery drained quickly, but we have not experienced that at this point. One feature I really like is I will get a notification if the battery is low (around 25%). Then I know that it would need to be charged before he went somewhere with it.
- How exactly does it work? Ok, so if my son is needing to get a hold of me he would toggle to the channel we named “mom” he would push down the middle button and say, “Hey mom” If I have my app open his voice would come right through, and then I can push down the button on my app and respond back to him. If I did not have my relay app open on my phone then a notification would pop up on my phone that says, (Your kids name), is trying to reach you on the mom channel. He would instantly hear a notification that says, no one in your group is online right now. Now I saw one review that seemed pretty unhappy about that. That it worried their child when they got that message. So we just planned ahead for that. I explained to him that if he wants to reach me just press the button and say, “hey” and I will see that he’s trying to get a hold of me and hop on and say, “did you need me?” and then we will be able to talk. That sounds a little complicated, but it really hasn’t been a big deal for us.
- What does it cost? We bought our for $49.99 and then there is a 9.99 monthly plan you pay for because it has wireless service.
- What if you don’t have pockets, does it clip onto something? Not at first glance, but they sell a little square that fits around the edges like a case and then has the option of a little carabiniere, or lanyard you can use with it. We will probably be getting one of those soon.
- Does it has an emergency call feature? No, it does not have a way to reach 911 at this point. I honestly don’t know if they have plans for that at some point. For now if there was an emergency and he needed to reach us I would have him talk onto the “relay channel” the first channel talks to everyone that is on your relay. That seems like it would be the easiest way to be sure you could reach someone and get help. Not a perfect solution, but it’s better than no way to reach someone.
As we continue using it I will be happy to share my thought and opinions. If you want to get one or two for your own family you can do so here, directly on the Relay Go site, or here at Amazon. I hear they have them at Target as well now!
If you have ideas to share of how your own family has, or plans to navigate this area I would definitely be open to hearing your thoughts! I understand it is a personal choice for each parent and that many of use will land in a different spot on all of this and thats ok! I’m just happy to share what’s currently working for us and hope that it may help some of you. – Terri