The internet is an amazing tool. Today, like never before, our children have access to unending educational opportunities and a wide breadth of entertainment. One such example is the free video-sharing website YouTube. Kids can easily watch a huge variety of videos, from Sesame Street to funny cat videos. That said, YouTube is not always kid-friendly, and some content can even be disturbing or dangerous to children.
You may be wondering if you should even let your child use YouTube. If you decide to take advantage of it as a source of education or entertainment for your child, you need to monitor what they watch and keep them safe as they’re streaming videos.
Here are some ways to control what your kids are viewing and keep their content age-appropriate.
Only Watch YouTube Videos Together
While a tablet or smart TV can offer parents a well-deserved respite, young children should be supervised when using digital media. Even if you’re working nearby, take out your headphones so that you can hear what videos your child is enjoying. You may also want to watch videos before your kids do if they’re especially sensitive.
Set up Safety Mode
YouTube’s safety mode can be accessed at the bottom of any page — just click the “on” button. The safety mode will filter out all adult content or anything other YouTube users have reported as inappropriate. While filters are not foolproof, they definitely provide a huge improvement over YouTube’s general mode. That said, be sure to test it for yourself before leaving your kids unattended.
Try the YouTube Kids App
The YouTube Kids app offers a kid-friendly design so that kids can navigate safely to their favorite videos. All the content is family-friendly and includes only a few narrow categories. Plus, parental controls will allow you to personalize your child’s viewing experience and limit their access to certain videos. The app even includes a timer and will enable you to control the sound settings so they won’t blast their ears out.
Turn off Autoplay and the Search Function
If you’re a regular viewer on YouTube, you know the site automatically cues up related content to play after your current video. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what may pop up next. To make sure your child is not exposed to something too adult, you can turn off the autoplay feature. You can also opt to disable YouTube’s search function.
Report and Block Questionable Videos
If an objectionable video pops up, block both the video and the user channel so that you’ll never have to worry about it resurfacing again. Just tap the triple-dot button and tap block. Then, report it. YouTube’s staff will review the content and consider it for removal.
Create an Approved Videos Playlist
If you create a playlist filled with handpicked videos, you’ll never have to worry about your child seeing something you’ve not already viewed and approved yourself. YouTube Kids has an additional feature that will allow you to pick both videos and channels. Open your child’s profile and add the approved content only filter. You can then add videos or channels by clicking the plus icon.
Find an Unparalleled Early Education Experience at Haymarket Children’s Academy
While YouTube can be a safe and educational activity with proper guidance and safeguards, if you’re looking for a superior early educational experience, turn to the team at Haymarket Children’s Academy. We provide quality unplugged education under the supervision of our compassionate and highly experienced team of caregivers.