People enjoy watching YouTube videos. Many use the service to relax or focus on light, amusing topics after a difficult day at work or school. However, some parents are concerned that YouTube isn’t child-friendly enough. Even sitting down to watch an old-school Sesame Street episode with your child can be off-putting, since many of the comments come from nostalgic adults who complain about new television shows or formats while watching their old favorites. Their comments contain everything from heavy cursing to sexual innuendo.
Is there anything safer for children to watch on the computer? For parents in the United Kingdom and all of Ireland, the answer recently became “yes.” The UK launched the child-friendly YouTube Kids channel after its success in the United States. More than 10 million American parents have downloaded the app, and parents in the UK are soon to follow.
YouTube Kids removes the commenting and uploading features. This keeps your kids from reading or responding to inappropriate comments or inadvertently seeing something inappropriate while watching videos with their parents. It also keeps kids safer online, because they can’t upload video of themselves, accidentally give out private information, or leave their computers vulnerable to viruses.
For parents concerned about too much screen time, YouTube Kids has a built-in timer that parents can set before children use the app. Additionally, the app blocks search terms such as “sex,” decreasing the likelihood of accidental exposure to pornography and other inappropriate content.
The UK version of YouTube Kids features family-friendly programming such as The Magic Roundabout, Morph, and Wallace and Grommit.
Parents are also concerned about the number of ads that run between the shows and what those ads may contain. YouTube representatives reassure parents that all ads are clearly labeled and contain intros. They are allowed on the channel only after a rigorous review process.