YouTube is one of the most visited websites online. Nowadays, a lot of children are more inclined to watch YouTube videos instead of TV. Understandably, many parents are quite concerned about making YouTube safe for kids. If you take a look at YouTube, then it’s easy to see why.
This platform contains millions of users and millions of videos – many of which are unsuitable for children. The problem is that it’s easy for a child to create a YouTube account and lie about their age, making all these videos available to see.
As such, many of you may block YouTube, so your child can’t use it. This isn’t recommended as there can still be a lot of excellent and harmless content on the platform. Instead, you should try out these seven tips to make YouTube safe for kids:
#1 Use the Restricted Mode
As a company, YouTube actually does a lot to try and make the platform safe for kids. The problem is that they don’t seem to advertise this very well. Most of you will read this and be shocked to learn that there’s a safety feature on YouTube. It’s strangely a hidden feature, but once you know where it is you’ll rest a lot easy seeing your child on this website!
When you’ve logged into your account, press the menu button and navigate to Settings. At the bottom of the page, there will be a few drop-down boxes, and you’ll find Restricted Mode here. Click on the box and turn it on.
Now, any videos that are deemed inappropriate will be filtered for you and won’t be shown. It’s not 100% accurate, but it does an effective job of keeping a lot of bad videos away from your children.
#2 Download YouTube for Kids
If your child watches YouTube on a tablet or mobile device, then you should download the YouTube Kids app. This is an excellent app that basically gets rid of any age-restricted content for you. It works like the Restricted Mode but is a little bit more foolproof.
Your child will only be shown videos for kids, which means none of the potentially harmful stuff is available for them to view. It’s a free app as well, and you can delete the normal one too. By doing this, you eliminate any scenarios where your child accidentally opens the wrong app!
#3 Turn off searches
The best thing about the YouTube Kids app is that it has some additional features that further improve the app’s safety. One that we particularly enjoy is the Allow Searching function. As soon as the app is installed, your child can search for videos like on regular YouTube. But, if you go to the settings and find Allow Searching, then you can turn this function off.
As a consequence, your children can’t search for any new videos. In effect, they will only be able to watch what you want them to watch, hence helping make youtube safe for kids.
#4 Make your own playlists
The above tip works especially well when you make your own playlists. It’s so easy, you just watch a video, and add it to a playlist. This lets you go through different videos and create an approved playlist for your children. When the Allow Searching function is disabled, it basically means they’re only watching videos that you’ve looked at and judged to be okay.
Kids love watching the same things over again, so the playlist doesn’t have to be massive. Also, even if you don’t have YouTube Kids, then this still helps. If your kids use the desktop version, then a playlist is a brilliant way of restricting them from any harmful content out there.
#5 Create an account for them
Don’t let your child share the same account as you or their older siblings. This is the easiest way for them to view sensitive content. If you watch a video that’s aimed at adults, YouTube will start recommending similar stuff to you. Thus, when your child uses your account, they get video recommendations for things that aren’t suitable.
Instead, you should create an account for your child. Not only does this prevent any harmful recommendations, but it also gives you more control over what they do. You can see the videos they watch, which lets you monitor their viewing habits and ensure they’re not watching anything naughty.
What’s more, you know the password, so you can shut them out of the account if they misbehave or start watching age-restricted videos. It’s a lot safer than sharing accounts or letting them set one up themselves!
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#6 Pause watch & search history
Another thing you can do to make YouTube safer for kids is pausing the watch and search history. The watch history is basically a backlog of everything they’ve watched. If you pause this, it stops YouTube from looking at their videos and recommending them. This is potentially problematic as one video might include tags that another one does – only the second video could be too mature for your child.
Search history is everything your child has searched. If you don’t have the search turned off, then pausing this is a smart idea. Again, it stops YouTube from recommending videos based on searches.
In essence, you help avoid situations where your child sees recommended videos that are actually not suitable for them.
#7 Flag any inappropriate videos
Lastly, you can help make YouTube safe for kids by flagging any inappropriate videos that you come across. Remember the restricted mode we mentioned earlier? Well, it’s basically powered by people flagging videos. If you tell YouTube that some videos aren’t suitable for kids, then it stops showing them to children below a certain age.
Plus, your kids can’t see the videos that you flag up, so this adds another layer of safety to everything.
In general, YouTube can be a helpful platform for kids to enjoy. There are plenty of harmless videos, as well as a lot of good educational stuff too. So, don’t block or ban your child from it completely! Try out these seven tips, and you’ll keep your children safe.