As parents, our child’s safety is priority so it’s always comforting when companies that develop favorite our kid’s online platforms take this as seriously as we do. YouTube is one of the places where my kids spend a lot of time and fortunately, YouTube is one of those companies. Having served on the YouTube Parent Panel for the past 4 years, I know there have been some pain points for parents regarding YouTube Kids app content and filtering but can assure you the YouTube team takes these things very seriously because they’re parents themselves.
YouTube built the free YouTube Kids app as a safer way for kids to explore their interests and curiosity while giving parents control around available content. YouTube recognizes that no two families are the same and what may be great content for a 4 year old isn’t such great content for a 10 year old. Since every family is different and every child is different, YouTube Kids offers parents a robust set of tools for them to customize the app as they see fit. In honor of Safer Internet Day on February 5, I thought I’d share these 6 pro tips for keeping your kids safer when using YouTube Kids.
6 Pro Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safer When Using YouTube Kids
These top pro tips and tricks will help you ensure the safety of your YouTube Kids app loving kids!
Set Up a Timer
It’s never easy to tell your kids that screen time is over so let the YouTube Kids app be the bad guy. It features a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time and alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to!
Create Kid Profiles
Did you know that you can create profiles for each of your kids? Kids will enjoy having individual profiles with their videos and recommendations in one place and as an added bonus, the app design is age appropriate so younger kids will get less text, while older kids will get more content on the home screens. This is especially handy on a shared device that multiple kids use.
Approve the Content You Want Your Child to See
Parents can select individual videos, entire channels, or collections of channels available for their kids. This can be done in just a couple steps that take less than five minutes and here’s my post on how to set up parent approved content in just 2 easy steps.
Access Collections by Trusted Partners and YouTube Kids
The YouTube Kids team offers collections of trusted channels, such as such as Sesame Street and PBS, on a variety of subjects from arts & crafts and music to sports, learning, and so much more. This makes it easy for parents to select only the channel collections and topics they want their kids to access. Just go into Profile Settings and select from the available collections.
Turn Search Off and Block Videos You Don’t Want Your Child to See
Turning search off limits the YouTube Kids experience to channels that have been verified by the YouTube Kids team. This means that search off will not include recommendations from the broader YouTube Kids corpus. Hooray! You can also block any video by following the steps above.
Watch the New “Staying Safe Online” Playlist Together
Reinforce the importance of staying safe online by sitting down and watching the brand new “Build a Safer Internet with YouTube Kids” playlists with your kids. There’s an age appropriate playlist for preschool and elementary ages and a separate one just for pre-teens:
Not sure where to find the parent settings in YouTube Kids to get yourself started? Here’s where you go!
If you’re a YouTube Kids pro at keeping your kids safe, read these 3 posts to get a gold star for safety:
- Important Conversations to Have with Your Kids about YouTube Content
- How YouTube Personal Time Watched Profile Helps Families Manage Viewing Time
- Why You Need to Set Up YouTube Parental Controls
I am a member of the YouTube Kids Parent Panel but am not compensated for my involvement. Images courtesy of YouTube.