Home » Tips

How to Control What YouTube Videos Your Kids Watch on iPad

There are many fun and free children’s videos available on YouTube, and there are a growing number of kids are watching videos using an iPad. Our children love watching Thomas the Train™ and Lego™ oriented video while on the run. The problem is that my wife and I are always worried that, given the nature of YouTube, they’ll surf from one related video to the next and eventually end up watching inappropriate material. Here are a few tips to help parents control the content that their child views on YouTube, and on the web, in general.

Filtering with YouTube Safety Mode

Earlier in 2010, YouTube launched a new filtering feature called Safety Mode.  In a nutshell, you can scroll to the bottom of a YouTube page and click on where is says Safety Mode is off to turn the features on. When Safety Mode is on, it will be more difficult for your kids to come across inappropriate videos. The parental controls guard against videos found without a search, too. YouTube community members have the power to flag videos as inappropriate for young teens. Those flagged videos will not be viewable if Safety Mode is on.

Filtering with kid-safe Player Apps

There are several options to limit YouTube content on an iOS device. You can choose to install an app like KidSafe Tube (iOS Universal, $2.99), which addresses this concern by providing parents with an easy to use to protect their children’s online activities. The app filters YouTube videos based on their content to guarantee that your child is never exposed to any offensive or explicit content while browsing videos on their iPhone or iPad. It also comes with a collection of pre-selected videos for children in different age groups, adds single videos, playlists, YouTube channels or searches results to a blocked content list.

You can also choose to install an app like iTubeList (iOS Universal, free with in-app purchase to disable ads), which plays only YouTube playlists. You can setup a playlist with child-friendly videos and then turn your child loose with the iTubeList app.

Filtering with kid-safe Browser Apps

An alternative to a dedicated YouTube app is a kid-safe browser like Maxthon browser or Ranger Browser. These apps monitor all web traffic, not just YouTube and have additional features that allow parents to monitor their children’s web usage. Besides limiting access to websites using blacklists and whitelists, Maxthon browser has a kid-friendly UI and uses a safe list that allows you to setup a list of accessible sites, and Ranger Browser also saves a browser history and lets you set the time that you child can use the web.