YouTube Kids has had some very bad press recently with reports of violent and suicidal imagery spliced into children’s cartoons. Typically, this content, which is extremely vile and inappropriate is a few minutes in, so that parents have already set it up and walked away.
YouTube Kids is rated (by YouTube) for ages 4+, so many people assume that the content here will be safe for children, but this isn’t the case. Any platform that allows users to upload content too has a risk for inappropriate content. You need to setup the parental controls and content to a level that is appropriate for your children, and ideally each child has their own profile, so you can manage their programmes to ensure they’re safe.
Setting up your child’s profile on YouTube Kids
You have the ability to create up to eight individual profiles on the one app/device. Your child can then personalise their own profile when they open the app so each one is unique. Each account can have its own passcode to protect each profile. This is advised as it prevents kids from accidentally, or on purpose, switching between the other profiles on the app/device. The passcodes should be unique to each profile and depending on the age of your child they can also know the passcode and keep it private.
- Open YouTube Kids (or download from the App Store or Google Play)
- Click on the profile picture and fill in the year of your birth or create a password.
- Sign into Google with your account.
- Click on the ‘+’ sign to add a child profile and enter your Google password again.
- Create the profile account with your child’s birthdate and name – the DOB is important as YouTube Kids will filter available videos by age.
- Decide if you will allow your child to search for new content and select the Search Off option. It is safest not to allow a search, however you may decide to allow this for older kids using the app.
- Now you add subsequent child profiles.
- The lock icon is where you can adjust settings in the future.
Once these profiles are setup you can now apply parental controls to each one.
- Log into your child’s profile
- Turn OFF Allow Searching (if you haven’t done so in the previous setup)
- Turn ON Approved Content Only
- Click start and the click the small ‘+’ at the top right of each show to add channels or shows to the approved list for this profile.
- Preview the shows before adding and then click done.
- Turn ON Pause Watch History to prevent suggested videos showing.
- Exit back to the login screen and then double check the profile to ensure it’s saved and set
- Repeat for each child profile.
It’s simple to block or report any videos you don’t want your child having access to. Simply click the 3 vertical dots at the top right of the video window and block or report the video.
YouTube are aware of the problem where inappropriate content was added and said in a statement, "We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments. There's more to be done, and we continue to work to improve and catch abuse more quickly.”
It's on us to keep our kids safe.
If they are online in any capacity, we must know where they are and what they're watching.
We're the only ones who can keep our kids safe when they're online, and learning how to do so on the apps they use is imperative.
See our courses page for more parental control information for other popular social media platforms, apps and games. Click here to see more.