Parental monitoring

5 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe on YouTube

by Screen Time Team on 13/12/2017

Internet monitoring

Talk To Them

Before you do anything, sit your kids down and lay out a few rules and more importantly, why you have these rules and how what might fall under them might change. YouTube is tricky, not least because even “kid-friendly” YouTubers and others can turn out to be anything but. The scandal over PewDiePie, one of the most popular YouTubers who performed a racist stunt and proceeded to make things worse in his attempts at “damage control” were enough to terrify many parents right off the site.

Make sure your kids understand the rules are, and leave room for kids to come to you to ask to watch something. And if something changes, talk to your kids about why.

Watch With Them When You Can

Screens should never be a babysitter, and even the most innocuous television is something you should keep an eye on. YouTube is anything but innocuous, so when you can, watch YouTube with your kids, or at least be in the room and keep an eye, and an ear, out for what’s unfolding on the screen. And be sure that your kids know you’re there to talk if things seem strange.

Use The Right App

YouTube has a kid-friendly app called YouTube Kids, available for most screens and platforms. For tablets, phones, and so on, set your kids up with that app instead of the main YouTube app. It’ll filter out “inappropriate content” and will let your kids watch without you worrying.

Fair warning, though, that what’s “inappropriate” is decided by the YouTube community, and if your middle schooler has a report on, say, breast cancer, they may not be able to find videos. So plan ahead and be ready to help.

Parental monitoring

Know The Site

There are several tips and tricks you can use to make YouTube more kid friendly, like enabling a safe mode by scrolling down to the bottom of any YouTube page and clicking Yes on a radio button, or using the site’s quiet mode. There are lots of tips and tricks, not to mention browser extensions and other parental controls, that will ensure your kids have a safer time on the site. Spend a few moments familiarizing yourself with them, and make sure to use them.

Control Screens

Finally, take a moment to install tools to control when kids watch YouTube, or otherwise use screens. Keeping screen time to certain times of the day will ensure kids don’t wander to places in the internet they shouldn’t, and will keep YouTube videos you don’t want them to see a bit further away.

YouTube, used properly, can be a truly great resource for kids and parents alike. But, like any website, you need to apply a little common sense to use it safely and get the most out of it. For help with YouTube, and the internet in general, try ScreenTime for free.

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts

Join the conversation