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The Internet can be a scary place. Kids are using technology younger and younger every year. By age 1, my daughter already knew how to navigate different apps. It’s crazy! But how do you know if your kids are safe? Here are 5 tips to keep kids safe online and how one simple free Safe Vision app combines all these features to keep your kids protected.
5 Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe Online
Kids can be glued to technology. Just think about the days you were glued to YouTube at 2 a.m. because all those related videos sounded so intriguing that you NEEDED to watch them. The same goes for your kids. Technology is addicting!
It is important to limit how much screen time your child is getting. See how much screen time the AAP recommends for each age group and How To Manage Out of Control Toddler Screen Time. This sets expectations and encourages your child to find other ways to entertain themselves. Limiting usage also makes your child focus on what they want to view. There is no time to be sidetracked with things that don’t interest them, which can help keep your kids safe online.
Block Violent And Inappropriate Content For Their Age
Do you want your 3-year-old to come across a Call of Duty demo or Deadpool trailer? I don’t think so. Use tools, like the Safe Vision app, to block out inappropriate content. It will not pinhole them into watching only the content you want, but will ensure they are only watching what is appropriate for their age.
We may not want our 2-year-old to play “Baby Shark” on repeat, but if that’s how they choose their screen time, so be it. As parents we want to raise responsible, independent human beings and introducing them to advanced topics too early and be confusing for a brain that is not fully developed.
Keep Track Of What They’re Viewing
Yes, it sounds kind of nosy, but it’s important. Do you know what your child watched last month? Did they learn a new inappropriate word and you had no idea where it came from? It’s possible it came from the internet. It is crucial to keep track of what your child is viewing every now and then.
It not only helps keep kids safe online, but also to learn more about your child. If they watched Paw Patrol clips every day for 21 days straight, it’s possible they may want something Paw Patrol related for their birthday or Christmas.
Talk To Them About Being Safe Online And What You Expect Of Them
Once your child knows how to understand directions, it’s important to provide them some while using the internet. How do they know they’re allowed 1 hour of screen time if you don’t tell them? How do they know you don’t like it when they watch Jurassic Park because it gives them nightmares EVERY single time? Talk to your child and tell them about what to expect online.
Talking about being safe is important as well. Adults can still fall for email, phone, or website scams and children are even more vulnerable. Advise your children what information can and cannot be given online and to come to you with any questions.
It’s important your child feels comfortable coming to you when they’re unsure of something they see. The more open your communication is with them by not being judgmental, the more they will open up to you.
Watch Videos With Your Child
Technology doesn’t need to mean being glued to a screen with headphones on in your room. Watching videos together is a great way to spend time with your child. Maybe their favorite song is “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and they listen to it on repeat. Yes, you can look at what they viewed, but did you catch that huge grin on their face when they watch it?
Use this time to learn more about your child and even suggest similar videos they may like. Maybe that turns the song into a Trolls family movie night filled with their favorite snacks. Brownie points for mom!
So how can you easily keep your kids safe?
The App With The Safe Vision
What Is The App For?
The Safe Vision app was created with the idea to do just that. Create a safe vision for children on the internet, focusing on YouTube, and ultimately to keep kids safe online. Parents no longer need to worry about what their kids are watching because you can view everything! You simply select their age range and the app unlocks all the age appropriate videos. It also allows any content to be “unlocked” as you see it’s appropriate for them.
The app makes it so easy to limit usage. You can go through 2 hours of watching videos without even realizing it. I set a limit of 1 hour for my daughter and if she uses it all, she knows she must wait until tomorrow to see more.
Using the App
My favorite part of the app is the snooping. I mean we all snoop on Facebook, neighbors, etc. (I hope that’s not just me). So why not snoop on our kids? There is a designated parent mode where you can look at the viewing history. This allows me to see my child is obsessed with that Baby Shark song. I now bring it up on the TV and do the dance with her for a great bonding moment. She has no idea it’s because I saw what she was watching.
I also love that the app allows you to save your favorite videos to a list and asks for your child’s interests. It may be why “Baby Shark” will forever be in my head, but it makes my daughter happy!
The app brings up new videos every day to expand what your child watches. At the moment, the app has a bunch of nursery rhymes, educational number and letter videos, and animal songs. Those are exactly what my daughter loves watching! Tomorrow, I will see different videos geared around the same topics!
I do wish the app was easier to navigate with closing out of the video. It’s a simple “X” at the top of the screen, which I must say is MUCH easier than YouTube itself. Even I get confused how to close out of a video there. My 2-year-old just simply can’t figure out the “X” for the life of her, so I wish it would just close out automatically once the video is done.
The app is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon App Store.
Now for the (even more) awesome part! Journey to SAHM has paired up with the Safe Vision app to give away a 1-year Safe Vision Premium Subscription (valued at $23.49!). Keep your kids safe online the easy way so you can sleep at night!