Keep your child safe on YouTube Kids

What’s the problem?

The YouTube Kids app automatically filters out most inappropriate content. But, no automated system is perfect, so it may not catch everything.

Videos that look like they’re child-friendly can include violent or disturbing content. They might be suggested videos, or appear in search results.

4 steps to take to help keep your child safe

If you don’t already have YouTube Kids, it takes you through parental controls when you set it up. Make sure to set yourself up as a parent and then add child accounts, following the steps on YouTube. Set it up on desktop here: https://www.youtubekids.com/ or download the app.

Once you’re set up, follow the steps below.

1. Set parental controls to help protect your child from seeing inappropriate content

You can:

  • Turn search off so your child can only see recommended, curated videos under each category in the home screen and can’t search for videos
  • Set content settings so your child only sees videos intended for certain ages (4 and under, 5 to 7, and 8 to 12), or so they only see videos you approve

In the app:

To turn off search:

  • Tap the ‘Lock’ icon in the bottom corner of any page
  • Enter your custom passcode (or complete the multiplication problem/read and enter the numbers that appear)
  • Select ‘Settings’, and select your child’s profile and enter your parent account password
  • Toggle ‘Search’ to off

For content settings, go to your child’s profile, as above, then select ‘Preschool’ (4 and under), ‘Younger’ (5 to 7) or ‘Older’ (8 to 12), or ‘Approved content only’.

  • If choosing ‘Approved content only’, the next steps are to:
  • Read the ‘Getting started’ popup, then select ‘Select’
  • Tap the ‘+’ icon on any collection, channel or video to approve content that you’re happy for your child to see
  • Select ‘Done’ in the red box at the bottom of the screen

You can edit the list at any point by tapping ‘Manage’ under the ‘Approved content only’ setting.

On desktop:

To turn search off:

  • Tap the ‘Lock’ icon in the top-right corner of any page
  • Enter your custom passcode (or complete the multiplication problem/read and enter the numbers that appear) and click ‘Submit’. This will take you into ‘Settings’
  • Select your child’s profile and enter your parent account password
  • Toggle ‘Search’ to off, so your child can only see recommended, curated videos under each category on the home screen

For content settings, go to your child’s profile, as above, then:

  • Under ‘Content settings’, click ‘edit’ next to your pre-selected content recommendation underneath
  • Choose the age group and select ‘Next’

2. Block videos or channels that you don’t want your child to watch

In the app:

  • On the video page, tap the 3 dots (‘more’) next to the video
  • Tap ‘Block’
  • Select ‘Block this video’ – or choose ‘Block this channel’ to block the channel associated with the video
  • Tap ‘Block’ again, then enter the numbers on the screen, or your custom passcode

On desktop:

  • In the video page, tap the 3 dots (‘more’) at the top of the video
  • Tap ‘Block video’
  • Tap ‘Block this video only’ – or choose ‘Block entire channel’ to block the channel associated with the video
  • Tap ‘Block’ again, then enter the numbers you see written on the screen, or your custom passcode

3. Report inappropriate content

  • Tap the 3 dots (‘more’) in the watch page for the video you want to report
  • Tap ‘Report’
  • Select the reason for reporting the video (inappropriate visuals, inappropriate audio, or other)

Make sure your child knows how to do this too.

4. Set a timer to limit time on the app (app only)

  • Tap the lock icon in the bottom corner of any page
  • Enter the numbers that appear or your custom passcode
  • Select ‘Timer’
  • Use the slider bar or the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ icons to set a time limit
  • Tap ‘Start timer’

Sources

YouTube Kids parental guide, YouTube

YouTube to restrict 'disturbing' children's videos, if flagged, BBC News