The internet is a scary place for moms and dads concerned about what their kids might be watching.
YouTube is entertaining, but poses a problem for parents.
Got an email this week from a mom who asked something most parents wonder: We could use some advice on YouTube and kids! My girls love the independence of using their own iPads, but I need help keeping an eye on what they're watching."
Thanks for the email Jill. Yes, that is a problem with few solutions. Not only does YouTube not offer builtfilters, it doesn't have a ratings system like Hollywood movies.
Google does have a separate YouTube app called YouTube for Kids.
It's designed for children will only play age appropriate content such as cartoons, educational videos, dancing, yes, you can find funny cat videos.
YouTube Kids displays channels and shows and there's some really good content. Ellen DeGeneres has a channel which features segments from her show when she's interviewed children.
Parents must set up the app and they have the option turn turn off search so that YouTube Kids will only play videos that are approved for the app.
Parents also have some control over how long their kids can spend watching videos by setting a timer. If you restrict them to say, 30 minutes, when the timer runs down, videos stop and the app goes to sleep. literally. Parents can also look at the history to see what videos their kids have watched.
Google does say there's no guarantee your kids won't see something you don't approve, and if that happens parents can flag a video as inappropriate and someone with Google will review the video.
There are third-party apps that claim to do that by only playing playlists parents set up. but I can't vouch for their effectiveness. And while there is no easy and surefire way to keep kids from seeing something on YouTube you'd rather they not see, the safest option is to delete the YouTube app, install YouTube Kids.
YouTube released YouTube kids about a year ago. It's a free app for both iOS and Android Devices.
Google said it's been downloaded well over 8 million times