Should Your Child Have Access to YouTube?

YouTube allows members and website visitors to view, create and share videos on a variety of web platforms. YouTube offers a wealth of informative and amusing content right at your fingertips. I find it useful for everything from Adobe Photoshop tutorials to how to make the perfect bun for my daughter’s dance recitals. The possibilities for knowledge and entertainment on YouTube are endless…and your kids know this too.

My kids’ first exposure to YouTube was when they got their first iPod Touch devices, as theirs came with it readily available on the home screen. They used it to find all sorts of entertaining things, but then I realized that while doing searches for innocent, age-appropriate content they were at risk of being exposed to inappropriate content as well. YouTube has ‘Community Guidelines’ discouraging users from posting violent or inappropriate content, but we all know it’s out there and I don’t want my kids to stumble onto it. Inappropriate content can be found in the actual videos posted, but also in comments that other users post on videos.

My other concern about YouTube is that kids could potentially make and post their own videos. I have strong feelings against my kids posting any videos they make online…no matter how innocent they are. If you decide to allow your kids to post videos, hopefully you are carefully monitoring everything they are creating and posting.

YouTube Safety Mode

An important safety feature that I just discovered is that you can access YouTube in ‘Safety Mode.’ Who knew?

You’ll find the ‘Safety Mode’ option at the bottom of the screen in your browser. According to the YouTube website, this is what ‘Safety Mode’ offers:

  • Safety mode hides videos that may contain inappropriate content flagged by users and other signals. No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most inappropriate content.
  • Safety mode also enables Google SafeSearch, and turning it off will disable Google SafeSearch
  • Safety mode will be enabled everywhere you use YouTube with this account.