Tag Archives: youtube

Is YouTube Safe for Kids?

No, YouTube is not safe for kids to watch without close parent supervision. YouTube terms of service prohibit using YouTube website to children under 13 years old.

YouTube

It’s seems like from birth my kiddos have had a technological device in their hands. Intuitively they’ve known how to swipe, click, and select their favorite things on their favorite devices. I do limit the time my children are exposed to devices, but I’m also not one to say that technology is nothing but evil. I think there are some real positives to kids using technology and services like YouTube. Even though I impose limits to screen time and place restrictions on their technology use, I still wonder about what they are accessing on these devices.

Lately, I’ve started to become more concerned that maybe I need to be exploring better options for my kids. Their love of YouTube (and my love of many of its offerings for children) is a tough habit to break. I have more recently begun to wonder: Is YouTube okay for my kids? Can it be used in a positive way? How safe is YouTube for children?

Child with phone

The good side of YouTube

Occasionally, I’ll hear my toddler state a fact about a dinosaur that I’m pretty sure we’ve never taught him. Or even mention a dinosaur that I have never heard of before. When I follow up with him, he explains that he learned about it on YouTube. I search for that dinosaur, and there it is! He really did learn about it in a video.

When we have a rainy day and want to do something fun, YouTube will teach us many fun activities to try. For our first attempt at making slime, we watched a video together, and then we gave it a try. It was a huge success.

Sometimes I’m at the doctor’s office with my children, and they need to get shots. And they’re miserable. I’ll try distracting them with funny faces, hugs, and silly songs. Finally, I offer them the chance to watch Elmo on my phone. I search YouTube for Elmo, and there he is. My child hears his voice, sees his fuzzy red face, and relaxes a bit. The distraction is good. The calming effect is helpful, and all is right with the world.

YouTube obviously is a tool that has a positive side to it. But what are its downfalls?

The negatives of YouTube

When my kids click on YouTube videos, they might see animals in the wild or see their favorite characters singing a catchy tune. They might hear a character teaching a foreign language or introducing numbers and shapes. Wouldn’t it be great if these informative and appropriate videos were a guaranteed result?

Unfortunately, this isn’t always going to happen. I have overheard curse words coming out of YouTube videos when I have stepped away and a new video has loaded. I have seen scary and inappropriate pop-up ads for horror movies and other products geared toward adults. Additionally, I know there are a lot of crazy videos out there that I definitely do not want my kids viewing. There are disturbing videos with foul language, sex, violence, rudeness, bullying, and more.

This bad side to YouTube makes me want to sit next to my child and watch every single video with him for the rest of his life. But I realize that this is not a realistic expectation.

What should we do as parents?

Because YouTube does have many positive aspects, and because I believe that everything is good in moderation — even technology, I am not at a place in life where I want to ban YouTube from my house. On its own, there are many risks and areas that are unsafe on YouTube for children of all ages. However, I would say that YouTube is a safe place for children if restrictions and safe viewing programs are in place. With a little research, parents can find a safe viewing tool that can create a safe YouTube experience for their kiddos.

(All photos from unsplash.com.)

How to Block YouTube on Amazon Fire Tablet

There is no doubt that YouTube has a lot of great content for the whole family, but there is also a lot of content that could be inappropriate for children. Being able to block YouTube from your Amazon Fire device is going to be useful. This is also good if you are looking to give these devices to several children at different times. Either way, we are going to show you how to get this done by using Amazon FreeTime.

1-The first step is to tap on the “FreeTime” tab that is situated on your home screen:

2-The second step is to tap “Add a Child” on the following screen:

3-Now enter the child’s name and their date of birth. You can also choose the type of theme you prefer.

4-You can now decide what content you want to add for your child to use. This means that you can choose any game or application you want. You can always add more content later if you wish:

5-The following screen is going to give you the option to decide if your child will be given access to the web browser. If you decide to allow it, you can also use the Amazon filter to allow your kid to access only specific sites that are available. These are also settings that you can change at any time:

6-You can always enable and disable the web browser at any moment by opening FreeTime, tapping on the cog next to your child name and scrolling down to the “Web Settings” section:

7- Amazon approves sites like Nickelodeon, PBS kids and Science Bob by default. You can choose to block all websites and then add any websites you want to allow your child to access.

8-You can easily access the list of children and choose any name you want to switch to the desired profile:

Blocking YouTube on Amazon Fire without using Free Time

If for some reason you don’t want to use Amazon FreeTime, you can still block YouTube on your Fire tablet by blocking web browsing completely. Your child won’t be able to access any website, though. Here’s how to do it:

1-Open settings and tap on parental controls; this will allow you to set the password. Once you have done that, just tap on “Amazon Content and Apps”:

2-Now go to the web browser section and tap on “unblocked”.

3-You can also block any access to Amazon Stores and protect your purchases to prevent your child from installing the YouTube app.

The good news is that by using any of these methods you are going to be able to protect your child from a large amount of harmful content that they could accidentally stumble upon.