YouTube Kids: is it dangerous or harmful?

Not necessarily. Things we like about YouTube Kids includes YouTube’s efforts to keep kid content on this platform and has placed heavy restrictions on what kids can find there. In fact, video creators must verify that the video is made for kids in order for it to show up there at all. This last year, the company has made extra efforts to protect the privacy and safety of children. In fact, all YouTube Kids profile data are just listed as kids, sharply limiting the data collected on them as individual consumers of media. This is a big privacy win.

With this in mind, there are other things parents can do as their children consume YouTube Kids videos.

Three things to keep everybody safe and connected on YouTube Kids

First, it is vital to know that the videos your children are shown on YouTube Kids are suggested by an algorithm. Unfortunately there is not a an employee at YouTube responsible for curating the video content being delivered to your children. The only person who can help your kids curate their content is the person they trust the most – their parent.

Second, you can minimize their exposure to content you are not familiar with. When you create a profile for your child, you can select specific videos or channels that they are allowed to watch. This list of allowed videos can differ with each child profile you create too! Bonus, you can now limit how much time they are spending on the app.

Talk with your child about the videos chosen for them to watch and the length of time they are allotted. This conversation is important! It helps everybody feel like they have a say and have made the choices together. We’ve found it helps lessen parent/child disagreements as well, since kids like to have control over their life too. It also helps adjust their attitude towards tech as well, resulting in better tech behavior long-term.

And third, we continue to encourage you to enjoy tech as a family. Use it to bond with your children and better understand the technology they are exposed to from their friends. Making the internet and tech a safe place to communicate about between parent and child will only create stronger family ties.

One favorite family activity we have with YouTube Kids, which is mostly done with simple parent supervision, is learning Minecraft techniques. My kids will sit together and watch an instructional video or even just a gamer video about specific build they don’t know yet. Then they pull out their tablet or our Nintendo Switch and create it themselves. It’s been fantastic bonding between siblings.

Learn more about YouTube Kids and parental controls here.

Contributed by Tay Gudmundson, Digital Respons-Ability Marketing Director, Parent of 4.

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