Are Walkie-talkies Safe For Kids? 7 Safety Tips For Parents

For your child's safety, it's best to guide and instruct them on how to deal with situations like this. With safety measures in place, your kids can have fun with their walkie-talkies
kid using walkie talkie

If you want to keep your kids occupied with cop games and hide-and-seek, walkie-talkies are an excellent toy option. They are also practical if you want something you can use to communicate with your child in the same environment. But are these walkie-talkies safe for kids’ use?

Yes, walkie-talkies are safe for kids if you put them in place safety measures. However, remember that anyone with access to these two-way radios in the same range can communicate with your child. Hence, if no initiatives are in place, they could become dangerous. So, what are walkie-talkies, and how are they safe for kids? Let’s see some measures you can implement to guarantee your child’s safety.

What Are Walkie-talkies?

Walkie-talkies are a type of two-radio for communication between two or more persons. They are an excellent device for parents to keep in touch with their kids. They also give kids a little independence. They are great for playing walkie-talkie games like hide and seek and spy games. 

Walkie-talkies are a good safety tool when hiking in poor mobile cell reception areas or parks. They also work as a substitute for mobile phones for tweens.

Some parents have even used walkie-talkies as baby monitors for older children in the house. These two-way radios help coordinate several car rides on a big trip. In addition, they allow for more accessible communication between members in each vehicle.

However, there are a variety of walkie-talkies for kids of all ages, so shopping for one can be challenging. Some are complex and expensive, while others are easy to use and cost less. 

Are They Safe For Kids’ Use?

Generally, walkie-talkies have two variants — encrypted and unencrypted. Kids’ walkie-talkies are less complex and usually unencrypted. However, they come with many preset channels, and you can hear anyone on those channels so that they can hear you. 

So if your kid is playing with their walkie-talkie, chances are high this will happen. Because most walkie-talkies for kids are not encrypted and offer no protection from eavesdropping. Encrypted ones are more expensive, but they provide more privacy. 

kid holding walkie talkie

Parental Control For Your Kids’ Walkie-talkies

For safety purposes, some walkie-talkies have features that parents can use to keep their kids safe.

Get A Walkie-talkie With VOX

Older versions of walkie-talkies need you to press a button before communicating. Nowadays, the story is different.

Modern versions of walkie-talkies support Voice Operated Exchange (VOX). It means that the radio will activate hands-free when it detects sounds of higher levels. 

Children don’t have to hold a button to speak as the microphone is always switched on and transmits sound. However, it’s helpful for little kids who struggle or forget to hold down the button before talking. 

Once you activate VOX mode, you don’t need to press a button again. Keypad locks are also great for little kids to restrict access to settings already put in place by parents.

Invest In Radios with More Channels

License-free walkie-talkies operate on public frequencies, making it easy for anyone to join your conversations. Consider buying walkie-talkies with several frequencies to avoid or lessen the chances of this happening. A walkie-talkie with fewer channels increases the chances of people communicating with your kid. 

However, those with public channels are okay if you plan for your young children to use them as a toy under supervision. But if you want to give them to older children with more freedom, it’s a call for concern. 

Get A Radio with CTCSS Code

Extra safety control for kids’ walkie-talkies is the CTCSS code which stands for Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System. It allows you to make the channel you’re using more secure by enabling you to add a low-frequency audio tone. 

You can set all your kids’ walkie-talkies on the same channel and enter the same CTCSS code. This way, others using a different or no-code on the same frequency are muted. The code prevents someone else from joining your kids’ conversation or them from joining others.

7 Safety Tips For Kids

You must communicate with your kids to ensure they are safe. This is especially true when they are not home with you. With these two-way radios, you and your kid can stay in touch as long as you’re within the specified range. These radios are fun, lightweight, and easy to use, with several features. The following are tips to keep your kid safe while on their walkie-talkie.

  1. To maximize the walkie-talkie, know the several functions and ensure you and your kid learn how to use them.
  2. Take time out to establish ground rules with your kids. Instruct them not to share their location when using their walkie-talkies.
  3. Teach your kids the “listen before you talk” etiquette when on their walkie-talkies. Before using a channel, they should listen and ensure nobody else uses it.
  4. Prep your kids for cases where a stranger may join the conversation. Guide them beforehand on how best to handle the situation and how to stay safe.
  5. Teach younger kids how to turn off the walkie-talkie or change channels if a stranger tries to communicate with them.
  6. Sometimes, walkie-talkies may not cover a specific range as indicated on the package. It may be due to buildings or trees causing interference. Besides, walkie-talkies work best on plain and level ground with no obstruction. So, immediately after buying a new walkie-talkie, test the range. Establish the route if your child is walking to a friend’s house. Check-in with each other to ensure there are no “dead spots.”
  7. Kids can be playful, so they need tough toys. If your kid wants to go out unsupervised, buy them a walkie-talkie that can withstand extreme conditions. Sometimes, you may have to buy a solid casing for it.
kid using walkie talkie 1

Related Questions About Walkie-talkies

Do You Need A License To Use A Walkie-talkie?

Walkie-talkies for kids don’t need a license. They operate under the Family Radio Service (FRS) system of the ultra-high frequency band (UHF) and are exempt. UHF is the established free range for public use by the FCC. However, this is different for more advanced walkie-talkies. They use the General Mobile Radio Service, and users need a license.

After I Set Up The Channels On The Walkie-talkie, Can My Child Change Them?

Children can be playful, and the enthusiastic “button pushers” would have a field day playing with the buttons on the walkie-talkie. However, there’s no need to be if you’re bothered about your children changing the channel. Most modern walkie-talkies for children come with a channel lock feature. It prevents children from changing channels and talking to strangers.

Are Walkie-talkies Safe For Kids Healthwise?

You don’t need to bother about radiation from a walkie-talkie. Your kid’s walkie-talkie is safe for their health. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), walkie-talkies are “below any level of concern.”

They only emit low radio frequency power levels because of intermittent transmissions. Also, holding them away from the head prevents exposure to RF beyond the safe limits.

How Far Do Kids’ Walkie-talkies Reach?

Walkie-talkies differ in the ranges. Some can cover about 1 mile, while others can get up to 36 miles. Cheaper kids’ walkie-talkies can reach a mile (1.6km). They work well for children playing games in the backyard or talking to friends across the street. 

Older kids, for example, would want a walkie-talkie that can cover several blocks or a neighborhood. They would require more advanced walkie-talkies. These are more expensive but can travel up to 36 miles. 

The communication range depends on the number of obstructions and the terrain between the two radios. Obstructions refer to building walls, trees, or mountains. 

The fewer the obstacles, the better the reach. If there are no obstructions between the walkie-talkies, it will have broader coverage. Also, if you’re in a noisy place, it may be difficult to hear the message. 

Can My Kid’s Walkie-talkie Work With No Signal?

Walkie-talkies are relatively easy to use when compared to cell phones. You don’t have to worry about signals while camping, as walkie-talkies don’t rely on that. Instead, they transmit to each other directly and are not affected by natural disasters or power outages. Just be sure to have spare batteries.

Can Walkie-talkies Be Hacked or Tracked?

When not in use, a walkie-talkie cannot be hacked or tracked. However, when communicating, it’s possible to get tracked.

Final Words

Walkie-talkies are multi-faceted devices. They can be used as toys for kids and come in handy for outdoor activities or when you’re at home. But those with only public frequencies are a cause for concern. Strangers can eavesdrop on your conversation or try to communicate with your kids. 

For your child’s safety, it’s best to guide and instruct them on how to deal with situations like this. With safety measures in place, your kids can have fun with their walkie-talkies. It doesn’t matter where they are, whether under your supervision in the yard or unsupervised at the park.

About The Arthur
Picture of Kenny Zhang
I've been running a factory that manufactures two-way radios & their accessories. We want to share some knowledge and news about Walkie-Talkie from the sight of the supplier.

One Response

  1. Les utilisateurs de talkie walkies PMR 446 ne sont pas forcément des prédateurs, mais des passionnés de radio. Les enfants peuvent parler aux “inconnus” en respectant certaines règles comme ne pas donner sa position exacte, son nom de famille et dire des choses privées.

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