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How to Protect Kids on YouTube & YouTube Kids

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The Heritage Foundation gives YouTube and Youtube Kids a child safety rating of C.

Safety Rating Explanation: YouTube Kids is better than a regular, unfiltered version of YouTube, but it is not a comprehensive solution for parents who wish to exercise a high level of discretion over their child’s viewing experience.

What Is YouTube?

YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows users to watch, upload, and share videos. The platform does not require an account to view most of its content, but users with accounts can like, dislike, and comment on long-form and short-form content.

What Is YouTube Kids?

YouTube Kids is a separate app offered by YouTube that is designed for children. In theory, it provides a safer environment to explore videos by offering age-appropriate content, parental controls, and filtered selection.

What Can My Child Find on YouTube?

Children can access a wide range of content on YouTube Kids, including educational videos, animated shows, music, crafts, and more. The app is a more curated experience than the regular YouTube, which is a vast and unfiltered landscape.

Is My Child Safe on YouTube?

Probably not. Although YouTube does not require an account to view content on its website, a user must log in to view videos that it classifies as age-restricted content. This category includes “harmful or dangerous acts that minors could imitate, adult themes in family content, and vulgar language.” Beyond these parameters, YouTube hosts a wide variety of content that could be harmful to children.

How to Control Settings in YouTube Kids

  1. Disable Search Feature: Turn off the search feature on YouTube Kids to limit content access to pre-approved videos and channels.
  2. Add Viewing Passcode: Implement a viewing passcode to ensure that only authorized users can access and modify settings, preventing unintended content exposure.
  3. Pause Watch History: Temporarily pause the watch history feature to prevent YouTube from recommending potentially inappropriate content based on previous viewing habits.

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