How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids

Little friends with gadgets | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids videos on youtube | Featured
YouTube Kids videos are the video-sharing platform’s answer to a growing demand for content geared towards children, but with some creators making fake videos not appropriate for kids, online safety remains a concern. Here’s how you can protect your kids on YouTube Kids.

RELATED: 11 Best Free Parental Control App To Keep Your Kids Safe From Online Dangers

How to Safeguard YouTube Kids Videos

Step 1: Turn Off the Search Option

While the video streaming platform aims to provide YouTube videos for kids that are age-appropriate, some creators push fake content by combining cartoon characters with disturbing content. They also hide behind anonymous accounts using names that sound like regular kiddie channels.

Some of these inappropriate content comes from search, which kids can do by typing or via voice search. You can eliminate this risk by turning off the search option.

To turn search off:

  1. Tap the lock icon on the lower right corner of the screen.
    Lock icon | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | best youtube videos for kids
  2. Enter your passcode.
    Passcode | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids videos youtube
  3. Go to “Settings,” then tap on your child’s profile photo.
    Settings | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | best youtube videos for kids
    Settings Child account | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids videos on youtube
  4. Slide the toggle for Search settings to the left.
    Turn off searching | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | youtube videos kids
    Turn off search confirm | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids videos youtube
  5. Repeat the process for every profile you want to turn search off for.

Step 2: Install an Ad-Blocker

Even YouTube Kids videos are notorious for running lots of ads on their content. Download an adblocker specifically for YouTube so your kid won’t accidentally click on these ads.

Step 3: Block and/or Report Disturbing or Inappropriate YouTube Kids Videos

If your kid woke you up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare from a video they saw on YouTube a few hours before, you can block the video so it doesn’t appear again. You can even report it if it’s really disturbing.

To block a video:

  1. Tap the triple-dot button
    Three dot | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids
  2. Tap the “Block” button.
    Block this video | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids youtube videos

You have the option to block just that video, or even the entire account if the uploader appears to be a repeat offender.

To flag a video (in case it was particularly inappropriate):

  1. Tap the triple-dot button.
  2. Tap the “Report” button.
  3. Tick the appropriate checkmarks: “inappropriate audio,” “inappropriate visuals” or “other.”

Step 4: Set Your Own Passcode

Chances are, if you have children who can already read and do math, they would easily be able to navigate to their “Settings” page, solve the equation on the screen, and reactivate the search option. To prevent this, set your own custom passcode so only you can access the “Parents Only: screen.

  1. Tap on the lock icon.
    Lock icon | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | best youtube videos for kids
  2. Go to “Set My Own Passcode.:
    Set my own passcode | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | youtube videos kids
  3. Look at and enter the numbers shown on the screen.
  4. Key in a 4-digit passcode of your choice.
    Passcode | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids videos youtube
  5. Re-enter your passcode to verify if it’s correct.

If you forgot your passcode, or your kid manages to know about it, uninstall and reinstall the YouTube Kids app to reset it. Repeat the process afterward.

Step 5: Use the Appropriate YouTube Kids Filter Settings

When setting up your kid’s YouTube Kids profile for the first time, you’ll be asked to select the age bracket for the initial home screen layout. YouTube Kids uses this setting to populate the home screen with videos appropriate for that age bracket.

  • Preschool
  • School-aged

Here’s how to filter YouTube for kids and update their home screen content settings:

  1. Tap on the lock icon.
  2. Enter your passcode
  3. Go to “Settings.”
  4. Tick the appropriate home screen age level.

It’s also possible to set the content level of the videos that will be selected in the app.

  1. Tap on the lock icon.
  2. Enter your passcode
  3. Go to “Settings.”
  4. Tap on your child’s profile and enter the parent password.
  5. Select from one of these options: “Preschool,” “Younger,” “Older,” or “Approve content yourself.”

RELATED: 13 Best Family Safety Gadgets, Apps, And Digital Books

 All About YouTube Kids Content Settings

YouTube Kids welcome | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | kids youtube videos
YouTube Kids videos can be flagged according to the youngest age for it to be appropriate. Here is a complete rundown of all the options for these content settings.

Preschool Content Setting:

  • For kids age 4 and below
  • Show videos that promote creativity, exploration, and learning.
  • Search results limited to videos flagged as fit for Preschool

Younger Content Setting:

  • For kids age 5-7
  • Show videos that are appropriate for young elementary kids
  • Search results limited to videos flagged as fit for Preschool and Younger Kids

Older Content Setting:

  • For kids age 8-12
  • Show videos that are appropriate for older kids
  • May include videos curated from “Big YouTube”
  • Could include some more suggestive/explicit content
  • Search results show all videos on YouTube kids

Approved Content Setting:

  • For all ages
  • Show only content that you handpicked yourself
  • Disables search automatically

Step 6: Hit Pause on Watch History

When you pause your account’s watch history, videos that your kids watch won’t show up on the “Watch History” and won’t be used to make recommendations for what videos to watch next.

  1. Navigate to “Parental settings.”
  2. Toggle the “Pause history” switch.

Step 7: Switch to Another App

Because anyone can upload videos on YouTube, the algorithms in place to filter out inappropriate content can only do so much. If this bothers you, switch to another app like PBS Kids, Nick Jr. or Disney Junior.

Tech Made Easy

These apps don’t allow third parties to upload content so you can be sure that the videos in these apps are carefully curated and age-appropriate.

Step 8: Watch with Your Kids

Spending time together | How To Make YouTube Kids Videos Safer For Your Kids | youtube videos kids
For younger kids, make sure to watch YouTube videos with them and use these moments as an opportunity to bond and learn something new. Older kids would benefit from a quick check-in from you once in a while so you can ask about what they’re watching.

Their answer to the question “What are you watching?” tells you what you need to know. Whatever it was, this allows a conversation with your kid on Internet safety to take place.

YouTube Kids App. Made for curious little minds in this video from Google Australia:

We hope these ways on how to safeguard YouTube Kids videos will help you in making the video-streaming platform safer for your kids. Even with all these filtering mechanisms in place, the best way to make sure your kids are watching content that’s appropriate for them is to supervise them and educate them on safe media consumption.

Have you had a negative experience with inappropriate content on YouTube Kids? What are other ways to make YouTube Kids videos safer for kids? Let us know in the comments below.

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