YouTube for Kids

Posted on May 12th, by Cathy Olsen in Popular, Social Media, Tutorial. 61 comments



Securemama Speaks on YouTube for Kids!

I was recently on a local TV program to talk about YouTube safety Tips. I have recently created an updated post with more helpful hint for parents to know how to protect their kids.  Scroll down to see the TV clip!

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We all love YouTube!

It can be very entertaining (The laughing yoga videos are my new favorite).

It can be very educational.

It can be inspiring.

Overall, it's great tool and it's not going away.

But is there a YouTube for Kids?

The scenario is very familiar. We let the kids watch something on YouTube. It's a very entertaining video. They are then displayed similar videos. They can easily click through series of videos. Here's the problem:

  • This trail of YouTube videos can easily take a wrong turn.  SCARY!!
  • Even on innocent videos the comments below the YouTube video can be full of vulgar language.  GROSS!!
  • Some videos do not match the title and description.  GAK!

How to Protect Kids on YouTube?

We all love it! How can we protect our kids?

1. Turn on SafeSearch on YouTube on Your Laptop or Desktop (see instructions below)

2. Determine how you are going to restrict YouTube content for your kids on mobile devices

3. Consider additional controls like a web filter

YouTube Safe Search Explained

It blocks offensive language – Safe Search automatically blocks comments. I have seen many popular YouTube videos. However, if you scroll through the comments it only takes until comment 10 or 15 to see foul language. If you want to view the comment you can click on a link to view text comments. Any foul language is masked by askterisks '*.' I tried it out and it worked. See below. I even did a search for the '*' and they were definitely blocking foul language. (I don't think you need a screenshot of that!)

It also blocks searches that may be targeting objectional material. So if someone is looking for bad material they won't get any results. Or they may only a few results including a funny video with a hairless cat when they search for 'naked.'

PC Mag review - When YouTube began, you had to rely on the adherence to their community guidelines to filter out garbage that people post. Google came out with parental controls that help you block offensive material that may be still 'ok' according to the YouTube community.

SafeSearch Caveat

“Again, please remember that this feature, though effective, is not 100 percent accurate and does not guarantee that all objectionable material will be filtered out.”  

We STILL need to stay close by when our kids are watching the latest funny cat and dog YouTube video . 

SafeSearch for YouTube on Mobile devices

Here is a splice from the Parent Center on YouTube

Q: Does Safety Mode work on mobile devices?
 No. Safety Mode for YouTube Mobile is not available at the moment.

Let me repeat … There is NO Safety Mode for Mobile YouTube videos!!

In my experience as a mother, kids are accessing YouTube more often from mobile devices, than from the desktop computer.  Gak!!

Webfilter for YouTube

Currently SafeEyes Parental Control Suite is one of the few web filter products that provide YouTube Filtering. You will need to add the video links that are allowed and all other YouTube video content will be filtered. Pretty Cool! The software works on Windows or Mac and includes a three user license. The product also provides pretty sweet reporting, filtering and other parental controls that you would want on a home computer. Click on the link to order now!

Some Additional controls for Kids on Mobile YouTube


I could only find one application that allows YouTube video filtering.  YouTube Videos for Kids. It is $.99 and claims to filter YouTube videos.  Similar to how you can restrict an iphone or iPad for webfiltering by installing the K9 web filter (disable Safari first), you could disable YouTube and install this application.  HOWEVER, the reviews said that the application crashes a lot.  For all of you who want an idea for the next app to develop:  Parents need a way to filter Safari, YouTube and other Internet content on their mobile device.  Honestly Apple, Droid, etc. should really offer this as part of their IOS for FREE!

What I would do, until someone fills in this gap of YouTube filtering on mobile devices.

  • Set up favorites for YouTube videos.  I know my kids love certain videos and could watch and re-watch them over and over.  So instead of being led down the YouTube 'Choose your own Adventure' trail, your kids can easily replay their favorite videos.
  • Disable YouTube on a device if you cannot monitor it at all times.  My post regarding iTouch/iPhone/iPad Security goes step by step on how to do this.
  • Enable YouTube if you are present and be close at hand as your kid pulls up their favorite video.

Additional Controls for Kids on YouTube

Web Filter for Kids on YouTube

I did a high level explanation and description of web filters in this post.  When researching YouTube, there aren't that many web filters available that will FILTER within YouTube.  Safe Eyes by McAffee does have video filtering.  You should check it out!

Most web filters either ALLOW or BLOCK YouTube according to your restrictions.  That would mean that you would still need to set up the safe search settings and still be able to monitor what your kids are watching on YouTube.

If any of you know of other web filters that help with YouTube content, please post a comment!

Securemama on TV talking about YouTube!


YouTube Safety Center

This is a helpful video from YouTube Safety Center.  It goes through general safety guidelines for posting and viewing videos on YouTube.  It's a great refresher for you and your kids.  The whole family should watch!

How to turn on YouTube SafeSearch

In case you can't read the writing embedded in the picture below.  You need to do this step for EVERY browser (Google chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari) that is installed on your computer.  You also need to do this step for each YouTube profile (in case you have multiple in your family).  Sound familiar?  You need to remember to set Google Safe Search on multiple browsers as well.  Also, I did test out clicking on the hidden comments.  Take my word for it.  It blocked the vulgar language.




 If you enjoyed this tutorial, here are links to some other GREAT tutorials on how to implement Internet Safety in the home.


  How to Install the Open DNS web filter in your Home!






How to lockdown your Apple Mobile Device!





How to change Facebook Privacy Settings





Netflix for Kids – Netflix Parental Controls



61 Responses to “YouTube for Kids”

  1. todotanzaniacomes says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that
    you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead
    of that, this is magnificent blog. An excellent read.

    I will certainly be back.

  2. Cathy Olsen says:

    Yes, I can help you out! I will send you an e-mail regarding a custom internet safety guide.

  3. Cathy Olsen says:

    Glad you like it! I do like to include pictures .. Thanks for the feedback!

  4. google api key says:

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  5. sweetb says:


    IT’S A JOKE!

    Cathy, I truly hope you won’t take offense to the caps or any of my comment.

    I know a couple of times you & others have tried to explain to parents how exactly the safety filter on YouTube works. Though I don’t think a lot of people quite grasp it, or that they read too fast, only seeing the good, etc. Thus, I really want to make it clear, as I believe it’s a serious issue & a serious overlook.

    I’m just SO sick with YouTube’s pitiful excuse of a filter! Boohoo, there are millions of videos, too many for them to monitor. So, we have to click through & watch all of these videos & report them? Seriously? Yep, that;s how Safety Filter works people! So, unless you are going to spend the rest of your child’s childhood (& I’m talking all day, every day) watching & flagging videos, it’s useless! At the Very Least… Why can’t YouTube Make people uploading videos chose a rating category to put the video under. Then make clear some serious penalties if not put in the correct category, making bey clear what the guidelines for each category are??? I truly believe that would make one heckofa big difference. Perhaps too big of a difference “For YouTube” due to the fact that YouTube is perhaps mostly popular because of kids that know what they can watch there! Thus they may lose a LOT of viewers! So they lull parents into this joke of a safety mode. Now I do have to say… There is the option to put your video under some sort of rating thing, somewhere out there but unless they are responsible up-loaders & go look at all the guidelines & then finally happen along this fact… Well yea, you get the picture, not happening…

    As for keeping close by your child, constantly peeking over their shoulder, constantly checking history, etc. For a young child, this is reasonable but it doesn’t keep them from seeing the ridiculous suggested videos & yes while under a child’s account, with safety mode on… And the Top suggestion that comes up for these kids, when they go to chose categories of videos they like, when they first open account, is a video of a young male videoing himself playing video games & within less than a minute he’s saying the F word!

    And… How about an older child, a teen, etc. Think there’s nothing too bad for them to see or hear? Think again!

    So Thank You Very Much Cathy, for the SafeEyes Parental Control Suite!

    It may be YouTube’s last hope for me!
    But how sad for someone that can’t afford such a filter!

    Cathy, if you chose not to post this, I respect your decision & I will still nonetheless be trying to get this message out to as many people as possible…

    A former,naive YouTube fan & concerned parent…

  6. NaveenPK says:

    As a parent, I went through the same pain while trying to show the nice science/nature videos in youtube to my kid and while safe search is good, still what is appropriate video for a 10 yr old was not appropriate for my 4 year old… finally, I ended up writing my own app Kidora, that categorizes videos into per age channels… its free, no banner ads, no in app purchases and has 1000+ videos now sorted into 150+ channels and the database is constantly updated… hopefully it makes youtube more safe and fun for other parents and kids out there!! its only there in apple devices now.

  7. Mary Eskeets says:

    Really good blog, thank you so much for your effort in writing the posts.

  8. mk watches online says:

    I’m lucky that I discovered this internet website, just the right information that I was seeking for!

  9. Cathy Olsen says:

    Great Idea! I had looked into developing a similiar app, but it was a little over my head. I’ll check it out!

  10. Cathy Olsen says:

    Thank you for the comment! Sorry for the delay! Real life sometimes gets in the way of blogging. I agree that Google and any social media site should do more around filtering. I am glad that you like the Safe Eyes software. Thank you again!

  11. Cathy Olsen says:

    Glad you liked the post!

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