Shocker! Kids love Youtube! Actually…I love youtube! I actually learned how to the “thread the bobbin” for my sewing machine, work with Adobe Photoshop, assemble a green house and play guitar using Youtube! I wish I had Youtube while growing up. Studying and learning would have been completely different. How did I get so educated without the internet? Youtube is amazing, and kids love Youtube for many reasons. It helps them with their homework, shows them great music videos, they can watch cartoons, and even find all the ingredients in a Big Mac. BUT…should they be on Youtube without parental supervision? I guess that would depend on the age of your child, and if you trust them.

Kids Love Youtube

Technically, Youtube is best suited for children over the age of 13. The real reason behind this is because the parent company, which is Google, collects and markets user data. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) exempts kids from data collection. If you child is under 13 years old, you may want to do the following:

  1.  Use a parent’s account. Don’t have them create their own. Set up a gmail account just for using Youtube. Pay special attention to the upload defaults. You want to make sure your child is not uploading videos.
  2. Create a family link account – If you have an Android device, you can use Google’s Family Link app that lets you create supervised account for kids under 13.
  3. Use a different website – YouTube is the most popular video site, but other good options offer built-in safety measures for kids.
  4. Talk about it. Let you child know what is appropriate, and what is not. Educate him/her on where they can go, and let them know you are constantly monitoring them.

If used properly, Youtube can be a very entertaining, fun, education option for children. As with anything your family does online, make sure you are vigilant and teach your child how to make good choices.

Tier3MD is an IT support group for medical practices.