There is a dark side to YouTube and a reason to be cautious.
Children are online now more than ever before and incredibly videos online are being watched more daily than traditional Television. YouTube is a wonderful source of information and videos that are uploaded targeted at kids are for most part suitable for children but there is a dark side to YouTube and a reason to be cautious.
Thousands of videos uploaded onto YouTube are not as ‘child friendly’ as they seem and it is reported that more and more videos are being watched by kids that are not fit to be viewed by them. Shockingly the videos are that of famous cartoons and children are unwittingly opening the videos with no guarantee that it is suitable for them.
It's far from an isolated case - BBC Trending has found hundreds of similar videos of children's cartoon characters with inappropriate themes. In addition to Peppa Pig, there are similar videos featuring characters from the Disney movie Frozen, the Minions franchise, Doc McStuffins, Thomas the Tank Engine, and many more.
So, should parents take more care when it comes to allowing their children to watch cartoons on YouTube... here's food for thought...
- It's perfectly genuine for a parent to believe that something called Peppa Pig is going to be Peppa Pig. Many parents have come to trust YouTube as a way of entertaining your child for ten minutes while the parent makes a phone call or has lunch etc. It is understandable that parents will not notice that the cartoon their child is watching is riddled with unsuitable material. Most parents are busy and leaving their children alone to view YouTube is the norm in a lot of households round the country.
- What can parents do to avoid this ever-growing problem? Well supervision would be a start. The problem with online activities is that most kids are watching videos alone with no one around to watch them. Potentially kids could be watching many unsuitable videos and parents may never become aware until it is too late.
- Give kids a pre-checked playlist that is ok for them view. Remember the age limits are there for kid’s safety and YouTube advises that users are at least 13 years old though a lot younger are using it. If your youngster is using it at least having a play list will prevent them coming across nasty content.
- Set up a family account and put restricted modes on your YouTube giving you a greater hold on what your child watches. Young kids will not mind as most just want to watch videos they love and children are unaware of the dangers.
- Have the computer/tablet in full view of you always, don’t allow kids to sit alone in their room for hours without anyone checking their viewing patterns. Too much YouTube isn’t good for your youngster’s health so bear that in mind as well as considering the chances of them watching unsuitable videos.
- Take heed of the latest warnings on the news and make a note to change settings on YouTube if you need to. Be realistic and take away your child’s device (to view YouTube) if they are accessing bad videos and tell your child why they must be cautious in the best way you can.
YouTube can be enjoyable when used properly.
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ