Today’s world can be a scary place for parents raising young kids—a generation that is more tech-connected than ever before. With the internet so readily accessible on tablets, smartphones, and even watches, it’s hard to monitor kids 24/7 while still giving them the independence they crave. Even things as simple as watching cartoons and playing computer games are now pumped full of technology that kids can get lost in—think of the things you can come across while browsing the comments section on YouTube or live streaming video games where anyone can be watching.
The Toy Insider: How does KidsClick review their content to make sure it’s kid-friendly?
KidsClick: We have a Broadcast Standards & Practices (BS&P) team, composed of individuals who carefully screen all content before it airs or is placed on the KidsClick website. The team looks for scenes that may contain things like objectionable language, violence, imitable behavior, and dangerous situations to ensure that our programming is age appropriate.
The Toy Insider: How can parents monitor their kids’ online activity using KidsClick?
KidsClick: KidsClick is COPPA compliant, which means it does not collect any personal information from kids under 13. Parents can feel safe knowing their child is viewing content on KidsClick.com, since all programs are pre-screened by our BS&P team and no personal information will be collected by the site. There are no logins or message boards or any way for your kids to interact with other KidsClick users, it’s simply a safe place to enjoy cartoons.
The Toy Insider: Is the Internet a more dangerous place today than it was in 10 or 20 years ago because internet access is so readily available to kids?
KidsClick: That is the reason why parents should be diligent about what their kids are looking up online. This is also the reason why KidsClick reviews all content before posting.
The Toy Insider: What types of dangers do parents have to worry about with kids being so connected?
KidsClick: Parents should worry about what information is being shared while their kids are playing games or watching content online. They should not allow their kids to supply their email address, first and last names, phone numbers, etc. Any identifiable information should not be put online. Parents should also make sure kids avoid interacting with people they do not know.
The Toy Insider: How can parents make sure that TV shows are age-appropriate for their kids using KidsClick?
KidsClick: Every show is rated at the very beginning of each episode. Each program has been assigned a rating, which follow the TV Parental Guidelines:
- TV7 is designed for children of all ages.
- TVY7 is designed for children ages 7+ .
- TVY7FV is designed for children ages 7+; these shows have fantasy violence, therefore may be more intense or combative compared to other programs.
- TVG is suitable for all ages.
- TVPG contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children, therefore co-viewing is highly recommended.
The Toy Insider: How can parents make sure that kids don’t feel like they are being restricted while still protecting them?
KidsClick: Talk to your kids—the same way you would explain to them to not talk to a stranger, it’s the same approach online. Do not respond to messages from people you don’t know asking personal questions. Never give out your telephone number and never give out your address. Encourage to watch kid-friendly programming and watch shows with them!
The Toy Insider: What tips can you offer parents on how to feel secure about what their kids are doing online?
KidsClick: There are a lot of online resources that parents can consider. Here are a few that we found:
- Parental blocks
- Antivirus software
- Kid-friendly browsers (i.e.: kidsclick.com)
- Open conversations with your kids
- Talk to them about some of the dangers that can occur on social media (i.e.: receiving messages/requests from strangers, online bullying, etc.)
- Monitor social media pages, if parent approves of opening an account
- Get their password, browse their page, and see who their friends are.
Vanessa Giraldo has extensive knowledge in kid’s media with 12 years of standards and practices experience. A full-time professional and a full-time mom of a 2-year-old, her passion for children’s content is driven by her daughter’s love of cartoons. She spends her days reviewing kid’s programming and advertisements to make an impact on what kids are watching.
Kathleen Corrigan has more than 20 years of experience in some of the most innovative creative agencies in New York City, as well as consulting with a television network. As a member of KidsClick’s Broadcast Standards & Practices team, she works to make a difference in the decision-making process for advertisements and programming for today’s kids.