an eye6 min read

Are YouTube Shorts Safe For Kids? How to Block YouTube Shorts

With 2.6 billion users worldwide, YouTube is currently one of the top three most popular social media platforms globally and the second most visited website in the world, with 32.7 billion unique monthly visitors.

However, you may be forgiven for not yet knowing what a ‘YouTube Short’ is. What is this latest craze to hit the social media psyche? More importantly, are your kids using, watching, or creating ‘Shorts’? Are YouTube Shorts safe for kids - and can you remove shorts from YouTube if necessary?

What are YouTube Shorts and How Long Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts are a relatively new feature on the YouTube platform. Developed as a response to TikTok’s ever-rising popularity, YouTube Shorts allows creators to post short-form vertical videos, of up to 60 seconds in length. These videos are designed to be a quick and easy way for creators to showcase their content and engage with their audience.

Users can access YouTube Shorts through a dedicated tab on the YouTube homepage. As with TikTok, it seems that YouTube is hoping to use its Shorts feature to attract younger audiences and retain its position as a leading platform for video content and video marketing.

Are YouTube Shorts for Kids?

YouTube Shorts themselves are not specifically designed for kids. The content of YouTube Shorts varies widely, and while some YouTube Shorts may be appropriate for kids, others may not be. As a user also needs to state that they are 13+ before uploading videos, this implies that ‘YouTube Shorts for kids’ is not yet really a viable option.

Is YouTube Safe for Kids?

As with other social media platforms and designated audiences, you may be wondering, ‘Is YouTube safe for kids?’

One of the issues surrounding YouTube safety for kids, and by extension YouTube Shorts, is that there is zero privacy. Anyone can upload a YouTube video or a YouTube Shorts video, and anyone can view and use it. If your kid uploads a YouTube Shorts video, their profile will appear - meaning that strangers could also attempt to use this medium to interact with your kids.

It's important to note that YouTube has implemented a number of safety measures to help keep kids safe from inappropriate content on the platform e.g. Restricted Mode. Additionally, YouTube has a separate app called YouTube Kids, which is designed specifically for children under the age of 13 to enjoy a kid-safe YouTube experience. YouTube Kids features a curated selection of age-appropriate content and requires setup by a parent or guardian.

Does YouTube Kids Have Shorts?

YouTube Kids is ostensibly a ‘safe YouTube for kids’ option; however, YouTube Kids still contains YouTube Shorts among other features, and it’s important for parents to supervise their children's online activities and talk to them about online safety. It's also a good idea for parents to review the content their children are watching on YouTube and to make use of the available parental controls and safety features to help keep their kids safe online.

Dangers of YouTube Shorts: Is YouTube Safe For Kids To Post Videos?

Like all content on the internet, there is potential for YouTube Shorts to pose a risk for kids. The same dangers of YouTube extend to YouTube Shorts as well. Some videos may contain inappropriate or offensive content or explicit language, and it can be difficult for YouTube to identify and remove any incendiary content quickly.

The fame-seeking element may also prove disturbing for many parents. In an effort to garner more views / likes / followers, there is the danger that kids may resort to revealing outfits, engagement with strangers, age-inappropriate behavior, or explicit language.

Additionally, YouTube Shorts may expose kids to excessive screen time, which can have negative effects on their health and well-being. The quick-fire nature of the highly consumable videos can lead to ‘YouTube addiction’ - a compulsive and excessive behavior where an individual spends a significant amount of time watching YouTube videos.

YouTube Shorts Addiction

As well as the fact that the content is highly engaging, YouTube Shorts specifically can be addictive for various reasons. For example, the endless scroll feature automatically plays one video after another, making it hard for consumers to switch off.

Likewise, the instant gratification of receiving entertaining or informative content in a short amount of time allows the user to think ‘Just one more, just one more’, without realizing just how much time has passed. Ironically, watching YouTube ‘Shorts’ can actually lead to more screen time than watching YouTube long-form video content.

Dangers of Posting Videos on YouTube

And as with other social media platforms, YouTube Shorts can provide the user with a dopamine rush from the ‘Likes’, ‘Loves’, comments, views, and shares that come with each video - which further exacerbates the YouTube Shorts addiction, and general screen time addiction.

Moreover, the negative effects of YouTube on youth also begin to take root if comments on videos are negative or trolling in nature. For this reason, parents should be aware of the dangers of posting videos on YouTube. Additionally, YouTube Shorts addiction can have negative consequences on an individual's daily routine, productivity, and mental health, by taking time away from other healthier daily pursuits.

Parental Guidance - YouTube Shorts

To mitigate the dangers of YouTube Shorts mentioned above, it is important for parents to monitor their children's use of YouTube Shorts and ensure that they are accessing age-appropriate content. Parents should monitor their child’s screen time and set screen time limits to avoid kids developing addictive behaviors toward short-form video content. To counteract the negative effects of YouTube on youth, parents and guardians may want to block or disable YouTube Shorts.

Despite the measures that YouTube has implemented to protect children on its platform, and YouTube’s own policies and content moderation practices put in place to better protect children from exposure to harmful or inappropriate content, it is ultimately up to parents to take responsibility for their child's safety and monitor their use of the website or app.

Can I Remove Shorts From YouTube?

You may be wondering, is there a way to disable YouTube Shorts? Or possibly block YouTube shorts, or remove the Shorts feature completely? Actually, it is possible to remove YouTube Shorts from YouTube - and some parents may wish to take this option. If you want to block or disable YouTube Shorts completely, you can try the following - but note that disabling Shorts will remove the Shorts section from your YouTube home page.

How To Remove Shorts From YouTube:

  1. Open the YouTube app or website
  2. Go to your account icon or profile picture located at the top right corner of the screen
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Go to the "Notifications" tab
  5. Scroll down and find the "Shorts" option
  6. Toggle the switch to the ‘Off’ position to disable YouTube Shorts

How To Make YouTube Safe For Kids

We can’t always know what content our children are being exposed to. With YouTube Shorts in particular, the endless scrolling can include any amount of inappropriate content.

It’s vital to discuss with your kids why not everything they may see on YouTube videos is appropriate viewing, and why. This will help them to be prepared and know how to deal with inappropriate content or online behavior if the situation arises. Let your child know they can come to speak to you if they’ve seen anything disturbing online that they don’t understand. This may include not just the videos themselves, but also comments on the videos that could be bullying or trolling in nature.

Using a parental control app like FamilyKeeper will help protect your kids from the downsides of using YouTube, and the YouTube Shorts feature. FamilyKeeper offers parents and kids the tools to safely navigate online viewing. With features like Web Content Filtering, App Blockers, Offensive Language Monitoring, and Screen Time Limitations, you can help your child explore online safely, avoid inappropriate video content, and monitor how much time they are spending on their screens.

For more information on how the FamilyKeeper control app works to help make parenting easier in the digital world, visit or download the app from Google Play Store or App Store.

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