Something’s happening with kids today. Screen time is going up—children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of one—and activity levels are going down.
In fact, between age 9 and 15, a child’s physical activity declines by about 40 minutes per day each year, according to a long-term study by the National Institutes of Health. And it gets worse before it gets better: The average 19-year-old is as sedentary as someone who is 60, found Johns Hopkins University researchers.
Good health starts with healthy habits and healthy habits start in the home. That’s why Fitbit created Fitbit Ace—the company’s first fitness tracker for kids ages 8 and up. Rather than be a distraction, Ace is the type of screen that will help motivate kids to get moving and get your entire family to adopt a healthy lifestyle together. How? Through engaging health and fitness features tailored to your kiddo and the all new Fitbit family account. Dig into the details below.
6 Fitbit Ace Features Kids Will Love
Fun Bands. Ace comes in two interchangeable wristband colors—Electric Blue and Power Purple—that are sized smaller than normal Fitbit accessories and can quickly be adjusted for a perfect fit.
Multiple Clock Faces. Kids can pick a clock face as unique as they are. There are 10 to choose from in the Fitbit app that display date, time, goal progress, and more.
Activity Tracking. Your kid can see how much they move each day by tracking steps, active minutes, and sleep stats. On Ace, the active-minutes goal is 60 minutes by default—which is the minimum amount of physical activity the CDC recommends kids get daily—but both this, the step goal, and a sleep goal can be customized.
Group Challenges. Kids can compete against their family in daily and weekend Challenges or via Family Faceoff, a brand new 5-day step challenge that allows members in a family account to compete against each other (coming soon). Winner gets a fun virtual trophy. Keep the motivation stoked by cheering and direct messaging each other within the app. Soon, kids will also be able to add their friends to do the same, but with control over who your kids connect with on the platform, you can feel confident knowing that they are only connecting with people you approve.
Rewards for a Job Well Done. Ace will buzz with celebratory messages each time your child achieves a goal and reward them with fun, collectible badges. Kids can see their stats, badges, and progress toward their goals and more in the Fitbit app on their (or your) phone.
A Battery That Outlasts Them. Ace can last up to 5 days* on a single charge.
Plus 9 Things Parents Will Flip For
Ace is built to last. Besides being specifically designed to withstand any splashes, spills, or even the shower, Ace also comes with an adjustable wristband that keeps pace with growing bodies.
Your kid doesn’t need a smartphone. Parents can set up Fitbit Ace for their kids using their phone or tablet (see “How the Fitbit Family Account Works” below). Ace automatically syncs to Android and iOS devices (Windows coming soon).
But if they have one, they won’t miss your calls. Fitbit Ace displays call notifications when your kid’s connected smartphone is nearby.
Reminders to Move is available. Turn on this feature in the Fitbit app to help motivate your kid to take at least 250 steps each hour. If they haven’t hit that mark by 10 minutes to the hour, Ace will nudge them with a gentle buzz to get off the couch. Best of all, you can set the hours Reminders to Move operates, so they don’t distract your budding Einstein during school.
Ace automatically tracks sleep. Sufficient rest plays a critical role in a child’s overall health and wellbeing—so much so that the CDC recommends children ages 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of shuteye a night. With Ace, besides being able to see how many minutes your kid spends asleep (and awake) each night, you’ll also be able to establish a sleep goal, schedule Bedtime Reminders, and set a silent, vibrating alarm to help them form healthy sleep habits.
Some stats are restricted. Certain health and fitness metrics—like body fat and calories burned—that are available to adults will not be shown to kids.
Your child’s privacy can be safeguarded. Fitbit’s child accounts are designed to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other applicable privacy laws. Parental consent is required for the creation of a child’s account to help ensure you’re a part of and can keep track of your children’s online activity.
Their Fitbit account grows with them. The Fitbit app experience will change when your child turns the applicable age of consent in their country (age 13 in the U.S.). They will have access to the full functionality of the Fitbit app, including access to previously unavailable health and fitness data such as calories, female health tracking, and body fat measurements. They will also no longer need parental approval for social features within the app.
Two words: parental controls. Read on for the full details.
How the Fitbit Family Account Works
You’ll be able to set up a Fitbit family account right from your existing Fitbit account (if you don’t already have a personal account, you’ll be asked to create one). Once you’ve added your family members and created your child’s account, you’ll be able to toggle between “parent view” and “kid view” on your phone by re-entering your password.
Parent view gives you control over whom your kid interacts with and insight into their day. Check their activity, sleep, and progress and approve their connections at any time via the Fitbit app.
Kid view limits the data your child can see in the Fitbit app and is the only Fitbit app experience your child will have access to without your password and/or consent. This kid-friendly mode focuses on activity, such as steps and active minutes, over other features such as calorie tracking; both body fat and calories burned have been omitted. In this view, both parents and children alike can see the kid’s stats, view the badges they’ve earned, change their clock face, and more.
If your child has their own smartphone, log in to your Fitbit account on their phone, and tap the Account icon to create a family account. Create a child account within the family account, and then choose your child’s profile to switch into kid view. This gives your child access to the kid-friendly Fitbit app experience described above. They’ll remain in kid view until they turn the age of consent in their applicable country.
Pre-Order Fitbit Ace Today
Fitbit Ace is available for preorder today on Fitbit.com for $99.95 in Power Purple and Electric Blue. It will be available in stores worldwide in the second quarter of 2018, including major North American retailers Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Target.
*Battery life varies with use and other factors.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.