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YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids has been designed as a child-friendly version of YouTube for 0-12 year olds. It gives parents tools to help tailor what videos their children can watch. YouTube Kids uses a mix of filters, human reviewers and parent feedback to minimise the risk of children seeing something inappropriate or harmful.

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Official age rating

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

Low Risk

Violence & hatred

Low Risk

Bullying

Low Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Low Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Low Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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Sign in for extra controls

You don’t need to be signed in to use YouTube Kids, but if you are, you get extra controls and tools (explained below).

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What you should know

 

YouTube Kids gives parents tools and controls that regular YouTube doesn’t have

 

YouTube Kids has been designed to give parents controls to help their children have a safer viewing experience. Unlike with regular YouTube, parents can disable search and set an age level for different types of videos.

 

YouTube Kids contains family-friendly videos but your child might still see something inappropriate

 

YouTube Kids keep videos child-friendly by using automated filters, human moderators and parent feedback. Whilst most videos on the app will be appropriate for children, the volume of videos uploaded does mean that sometimes inappropriate content could still appear. No filter is 100% effective on its own.

 

That’s why, even if you have all the safety settings set up, it’s important to let your child know they can talk to you if they see something that upsets or worries them. If they see something, remind them they can pause the video, turn the screen over and tell an adult.

 

YouTube Kids lets you limit the amount of time your child can spend watching videos. You might be concerned about how long your child spends on sites like YouTube Kids, but try to remember that it’s not about how long they’re on their screens, it’s about what they’re doing online. Reducing the time they spend on YouTube Kids might not prevent them from seeing something you don’t want them to. So remember to have regular conversations about how they’re using it and how they can stay safe.

YouTube Kids also includes adverts, which your child might see. YouTube pre-approves all paid for adverts but if you don’t want your child to see ads, you can pay for YouTube Premium, which is ad free. Visit YouTube to find out more about advertising on YouTube Kids.

Be aware that videos autoplay on YouTube Kids, meaning suggested videos automatically play after one video has ended, and there’s currently no way to switch this feature off. Make sure to regularly keep an eye on your child while they’re using it to make sure you’re both happy with what’s being watched. You can also find what videos your child has recently watched using the ‘Watch it again’ feature, which YouTube has advice on.

 

 

 

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

You can decide what type of videos your child can watch based on the YouTube Kids ‘content levels’:

  • Preschool’ - Ages 0-4
    Designed for children aged 4 and under, these videos should promote creativity, playfulness, learning and exploration.
  • Younger - Ages 5-7
    Designed for 5-7 year olds, children can explore videos on a range of topics, including cartoons, crafts and songs.
  • Older - Ages 8-12
    Designed for 8-12 year olds, this lets children search and explore more videos, including music and gaming videos and vlogs.

Remember that these are general categories and it’s important to decide what’s right for your family.

You can also handpick videos which you want your child to be able to watch and only allow them access to these.

Whatever you choose, if your child is old enough, take the time to explore the settings with them and talk about how they can make watching videos on YouTube safer.

Explore YouTube Kids' advice on setting up content levels.

YouTube Kids lets children search for videos they’d like to watch, usually by typing in the search bar or by tapping the microphone icon to do a voice search.

YouTube Kids lets parents turn off the search function. With search turned off, your child can’t search for videos and can only watch videos from a set of channels that have been verified by YouTube Kids.

YouTube Kids do stress that even with search disabled there’s always a chance your child might find something you don’t want them to see because no filter is 100% effective. If you’re concerned, use YouTube Kids with your child to make sure all the videos are appropriate.

Read YouTube Kids' advice on search for more information.

If you’re signed in as a parent, you can create separate profiles for up to eight children. Each profile can have its own settings to help manage what your child can watch.

YouTube Kids has advice on creating profiles for kids.

If your child’s old enough, then go through the settings with them and talk about why you’re using certain parental controls and how they can help to keep them safe.

YouTube Kids has loads of helpful advice for parents. Take the time to explore this information so you’re comfortable with all of the settings and tools.

They’ve also created useful FAQs, answering a lot of important questions, including how to flag inappropriate videos.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

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