make YouTube safe for kids

Parents Guide On How To Block YouTube Channels

Young children and teens love using YouTube. You can find just about anything on the platform these days. And the sheer amount of discoverable content should worry any watchful parent. After all, YouTube does have inappropriate content. That’s why Google released a kid safe YouTube.

One study found 80% of children 11 and under watch YouTube. Yet, the official age restriction is 13 years or older. The same survey found 53% of parents let their children watch YouTube daily. Another survey revealed 77% of 15- to 25-year-old users use YouTube.

So it’s clear that YouTube plays a crucial role in providing content for kids. But for all the good on YouTube, there’s also a lot of bad. This article focuses on what parents can use to block unwanted YouTube content.

 

YouTube Available Restrictions

Wondering how to block YouTube channels for kids?

There are two main options for restricting content. The first is by turning on Restricted Mode in the conventional app. The second is by using the YouTube Kids app.

 

YouTube Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode is a tool that filters out adult content. It uses automated filtering that reads video metadata, title, and language. Restricted Mode will also block content that other users flag as inappropriate.

However, it’s not a perfect solution. First, it can’t understand video context 100% of the time. It won’t detect inappropriate content if the author is using clean words, for instance. Second, it isn’t customizable, which is a problem for many parents. For example, some parents would rather not expose their children to religious content. But they can’t customize Restricted Mode to help with that preference.

Some of the types of content blocked by Restricted Mode include:

  • Any explicit sexual content, including conversations about sex
  • Alcohol and drug use discussions
  • Content using profanity and mature language (e.g., swear words, racial slurs, and others)
  • Violence such as war, natural disasters, crime, and disturbing reports
  • Any content that’s discussing or depicting violent acts, such as terrorism
  • Content containing demeaning or inflammatory graphics or discussions

To turn on Restricted Mode on Android:

  • Sign in to your account
  • Tap your profile icon located on the top right
  • Choose ‘Settings’ and then select ‘General’
  • Turn on Restricted Mode

For PC or laptops:

  • Click on your profile picture 
  • Select Restricted Mode
  • In the box that appears, click ‘Activate Restricted Mode’

For iPhones or iPads:

  • Tap your profile picture on the top right corner
  • Tap ‘Settings’
  • Tap Restricted Mode to activate or deactivate it

Note that a child can still disable Restricted Mode if you don’t use Google Family Link (more on this in a moment).

 

YouTube Kids App

YouTube Kids is a separate application for children. It’s kid safe YouTube or safe YouTube for kids that filters inappropriate content. Parents can set up YouTube Kids for 8–12-year-olds, 4–8-year-olds, and under-4-year-olds.

The platform provides some advantages not possible in conventional YouTube. More specifically, it has additional controls for extra safety. And hundreds of human moderators assess videos to ensure they are safe for kids. Parents can also find moderator curated playlists of approved content. That includes kid safe YouTube channels.

However, some unpleasant content does make it past YouTube Kids’ filters. These are typically content disguised as for children. They bypass the algorithm until human moderators become aware.

To start using YouTube Kids:

  • Download the YouTube Kids app from the play store or app store
  • Open the app and follow on-screen instructions

 

Gaining More Control With MMGuardian

MMGuardian is a parental control app that will allow you to limit and monitor your child’s app usage, including YouTube.

To set up MMGuardian:

You’ll be able to set restrictions from your own phone after logging into both apps.

 

Is There A Way To Block Specific Channels?

Yes, there’s a way to block certain channels on YouTube. You can do so through conventional YouTube, the YouTube app, and YouTube Kids. Here’s how to block YouTube channels on each platform.

For the YouTube website on your computer using a linked parent account:

  • Go to the YouTube channel’s page you want to block
  • Click the ‘About’ tab
  • Click Report user (a flag icon located right below ‘Stats’) 
  • Choose ‘Block channel for kids.’ Note that this option will only show up if you’re using your linked parent account
  • Click ‘GOT IT’ if you receive a pop-up alerting you that similar videos may be on other channels
  • Choose ‘BLOCK’ next to the child you don’t want to access the channel
  • To undo the action, choose ‘UNBLOCK.’
  • Click ‘Done,’ and you’re all set.

To block a channel using the YouTube app:

  • Visit the channel’s page
  • Tap the More icon (the three dots on the top right)
  • Tap ‘Block channel for kids’. Again, this option will only surface if you’re using your linked parent account.
  • Tap GOT IT if a pop-up appears warning you about similar content on other channels
  • Find the child you want to block the channel for and tap BLOCK 
  • Then tap Done

To block content using YouTube Kids from the home screen:

  • Tap More (3 dots next to the video or channel)
  • Tap ‘Block this video’
  • Enter your custom passcode or the numbers that appear on the screen

To block a video or channel from the YouTube Kids watch page:

  • Tap More (3 dots next to the video or channel)
  • Tap BLOCK
  • Select ‘Block this video only,’ or ‘Block entire channel’ in the dialog will opens
  • Tap BLOCK
  • Enter the numbers on the screen or your custom passcode

 

Can You Block YouTube Access Entirely?

You can block YouTube for your kids completely by using MMGuardian.

  • Ensure you’ve set up MMGuardian on your child’s phone and your own (see instructions above).
  • From your phone, in the upper right corner, choose the child you want YouTube blocked for.
  • If your child has an Android phone, you can block and limit YouTube in the App Control screen of the left menu.
  • You’ll see several applications installed on your child’s phone. Find YouTube on the list and tap the check by it to block it
  • Alternatively you can limit YouTube’s usage in the Limits tab of App Control
  • If your child has an iPhone, you can disable YouTube and all other downloaded apps for defined periods of time using the Quick App Control or App Block Schedules functions.
  • For children with iPhones, MMGuardian can be used in combination with the native Screen Time controls which can be used to block YouTube individually.

 

Can You Monitor Exactly Which YouTube Videos A Child Watches?

Yes. Using MMGuardian, you can see the entire history of the videos that your child is watching. This can be achieved in two ways:


  • If your child has an Android phone, all of the videos that they watch in the YouTube app will automatically be reported along with the Web Usage where you can also see all of their internet browsing history.
  • For an iPhone or Android phone, you can also block the use of the YouTube app, ensuring that your child can only use YouTube via web browser, all of which will be reported in your MMGuardian Parent App.


Even More Security Options

Sometimes parents need more than just knowing how to block channels on YouTube. You may want more control over what your child is watching online. Here are some additional tips.

  • Regularly monitor your kids’ YouTube usage. You can do that by observing the watch history on YouTube Kids. Tap ‘Recommended’ located at the top of the home screen. Then tap the yellow arrow pointing left to view ‘Watch it again’ videos.
  • Manually block offensive channels. Consider doing some additional research and developing a list of channels to block. Use the instructions provided earlier for blocking specific channels.
  • Educate your child about Internet safety. Explain what is appropriate and things to avoid or look out for when using YouTube. This can go a long way in protecting your kids.
  • Install a parental control app. MMGuardian is an AI-driven parental control application with intelligent functions. For example, you can block the YouTube app or limit screen time. It’ll also report videos watched. Dedicated parental control is often the best bet for controlling a child’s app use.

Explore MMGuardian’s features as an android parental control app and as a parental control app for iPhone.

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