Safety Tips for Children on YouTube

You may be concerned about allowing your children on YouTube. YouTube can be a great resource for content, but can also expose your children to inappropriate content.

A great way to handle safety on the internet is to have open conversations with your children about the dangers. Ask them what they are watching, watch with them, explain to them how they can deal with unwanted content and so on.

That being said, there are actions you can take to reduce the risk of your children viewing content you do not want them to see. Read on to learn more about ways that you can control and monitor what your children are watching on YouTube.

YouTube Family Account

YouTube's recommended solution for older children on YouTube is their family account. A family account is part of their paid premium service. A regular premium account is $11.99 a month. A premium family account is $17.99 a month. Family accounts allow up to 5 Google accounts to be connected to them. The nice thing about a premium account is that you are not subjected to the ads. If you are interested in a family account, learn more about YouTube family plans.

Available Controls On a YouTube.com Account

Have you set up a family account or plan to?

Do you allow your child to use your account?

Have you set up an account on behalf of your child?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, here are some tips for how to manage your account.

Use Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode is an opt-in feature on any YouTube account. An algorithm is used to determine what videos should be restricted. YouTube also has a team of reviewers that look at the videos flagged by users as inappropriate.

While this is not a perfect solution, it should help weed out a large portion of inappropriate videos. That being said, YouTube operates under the assumption that users are 13+. So parents should keep that in mind when allowing younger children to watch on YouTube.com instead of YouTube Kids.

How to Turn on Restricted Mode

In the upper right hand corner of YouTube, you will see the account icon. This is the same place on the mobile app and the web browser version. Click on the account icon to access the settings.

When Using a Web Browser to Access YouTube

If you are in a browser window, scroll all the way down to the bottom and you should see "Restricted Mode". When you click the arrow to the right, it will open another box that allows you to turn on Restricted Mode.

When Using an App to Access YouTube

If you are in the app, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Settings". At the top of the settings, select "General". If you scroll all the way down, you will see the "Restricted Mode" toggle.

YouTube Account Section
YouTube Settings Section
YouTube General Settings

Subscribe to Channels

Subscribe to channels that your children enjoy on the account they use. If your child has a favorite channel, subscribe to it! They will be notified when the channel posts new content. And when they have easy access what they like, they are less likely to view content outside of those channels.

Check The Watch History

When Using a Web Browser to Access YouTube

If you are in a browser window, select "History" from the left hand navigation.

When Using an App to Access YouTube

If you are in the app, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Settings". Select "History & Privacy". Then select "Manage all activity". From here, you can view what your child has been watching.

Block Videos & Channels

To block a video, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the video.

To get to a channel from the video, click on the channel icon at the left of the video title. To block a channel, click on the three dots to the right of the channel title.

YouTube Kids Parental Controls Video Block
YouTube Kids Parental Controls Video Block
YouTube Kids Parental Controls Block Channel
YouTube Kids Parental Controls Block Channel

Turn Off Autoplay

Turning off the autoplay feature can help as well. It reduces the chance that your child will stumble upon a video they didn't intend to watch. To turn off autoplay, click on the account icon in the upper right hand corner.

When Using a Web Browser to Access YouTube

The autoplay toggle will appear to the right of the video you are watching above the "Up Next" videos.

You can also access it by hovering over the video and clicking on the gear icon on the lower right.

When Using an App to Access YouTube

If you are in the app, the autoplay toggle will appear below the video player under the "Subscribe" option.

Have Younger Children Who Use YouTube Kids?

If you need help with YouTube Kids, read our article on How to Use Parental Controls on YouTube Kids.

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