YouTube sees one billion users every day, and many of them are children and young people. While YouTube has loads of safe, fun and educational videos for children to enjoy, there is still a lot which can be upsetting for children, and YouTube cannot always regulate the adult-oriented content. However, parents, guardians and teachers can take steps to help children only see suitable content.
YouTube has created a kid-friendly version app, which can be downloaded for free on Android or iOS and it is a great way to make sure that inappropriate content never reaches them. When your children have tablets of their own or are frequently borrowing yours or a smartphone, it is a good idea to have the app downloaded. When it is downloaded, there are few steps to make before they can start watching videos. Turn the search off, so they are limited to watching content on the home screen, and also set a timer, which limits their use of the app.
Turn on parental controls on your internet service provider (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin) which can be activated at any time. There are also certain levels to filter by, from light to strict or PG to 18, so you can change it depending on their age. Parental controls also allow you to block harmful and upsetting content from showing up in innocent searches, and on some, you can block social channels and gaming, which can include YouTube.
Another way to restrict the content your child sees is by setting up a Google account for using on YouTube. When you have signed it, you can click on the account symbols and head to settings. There you can turn on Restricted Mode which means that flagged videos will not appear on your feed. The Restricted Mode setting is a useful tool for public computers in libraries as well as schools, where it can be harder to monitor what a class full of pupils are doing on computers.
Only subscribing to channels you know are family-friendly is an excellent place to start, as this allows you to create a safe feed, and means they are unlikely to click on something they shouldn’t be watching. There are loads of YouTubers and channels which cater their content to be more child-friendly, and you can also find plenty of clips and episodes of age-appropriate TV shows as well. With thousands of channels to pick from, you are sure to find ones that are educational, funny and help encourage the creative side of children.
Watch YouTube Together
Entertainment for families is no longer limited to what is on TV, especially when there are several screens in the home. But one way to keep an eye on what your young children are watching on YouTube is to do it together or keep YouTube in one room. Confining YouTube screens to just the living room allows parents to see what the child is watching, especially if no headphones are used as well. Watching YouTube clips together is another way to spend time with your child and gives you the opportunity to see exactly what they are watching and whether it is appropriate.
To find out more about the policies we have in place at St Peter’s Prep, a mixed boarding school, Devon, that focus on our pupils’ safety online or in the classroom, get in touch with us today. You can also request a prospectus to find out more about our curriculum and teaching processes.