Today’s video streaming services are absolutely amazing for children’s content, both educational and entertaining, but the savvy little monsters soon learn their way around an interface.
Before you know it, you’ll think you left your innocent toddler watching Wishenpoof and come back to find her staring wide-eyed at a fight scene in Ronja.
It’s important to understand how to set up your systems so that your precious poppets don’t see something they aren’t yet old enough to process.
We’ve taken a look at how to safeguard Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu so that you can — within reason — be confident they don’t view something they shouldn’t. As far as having to listen to the Paw Patrol theme song for the 1,562nd time though, you’re on your own…
To add a child’s profile to your Netflix account, simply hit “Add Profile” from your home screen. Enter a name for the profile and tick the box for a child, then continue.
If you click on that profile, straightaway you’ll be taken to the Netflix Children’s homepage, but it’s advisable to delve a bit deeper into the settings to ensure a safe viewing experience.
From the home screen where you’ll see the profile icons if you click “Manage Profiles” you’ll see a circle with a pencil appear on all the profiles, you’ve created. Click on the profile you’d like to manage. Here, if you then click on the “Edit” button, you’ll see a scale the shows all the ratings allowed for this profile. Select “TV-Y,” which is content suitable for all ages.
If your child is seven or older, you might select “TV-Y7.” For older kids, you can adjust the settings for higher ratings if you wish.
You can take your parental controls a step further if you want to restrict access to other profiles on your account via a PIN number. This is useful if you don’t want your kids to simply toggle over to your account or an older sibling’s account and watch whatever they want.
To set up PINs for individual profiles, you have to access from a web browser. Select “Account,” then “Profile & Parental Controls.” Then navigate down to “Profile Lock” and hit “Change.” Enter your account password and then pick a four-digit PIN that must be entered to access that profile.
You can also opt to put a total block on select shows or movies on your kids’ profiles, regardless of rating. Go to from a web browser. Go to Profile & Parental controls. Navigate to the profile you’d like to edit. Then scroll down to this box:
Start typing in any show or movie titles you don’t want your kids to see and select them from the menu that appears.
It’s worth noting that in the United States, Netflix classifies content suitable for “Little Kids” as G, TV-Y, and TV-G. “Older Kids” can access PG, TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV, and TV-PG. The “Teens” level is PG-13 and TV-14.
Amazon Prime Video
As you’d expect, Amazon has similar parental controls in place.
The basic settings options from Amazon allow you to block content that falls into certain rating categories, but first, you have to set up a Prime Video PIN number (if you haven’t already).
Now head to the “Viewing Restrictions” section. You will now see the options to stop playback of video of various maturity levels. Select the appropriate restrictions. You can also choose which of your connected devices you want the restrictions to apply to.
Once you’ve got the restrictions set up, you’ll still “see” the more mature content, but it will have a lock symbol indicating that it’s blocked content. You’ll have to enter your PIN to view it.
On the Prime Video app for Android and iOS you need to head to Settings, select Parental Controls, then set up a PIN, once that’s done you can activate viewing (and purchase) restrictions for your mobile device.
To set up viewing restrictions on a Fire TV device, select Settings from the Fire TV menu, then “Preferences,” then “Parental Controls.” You can now use the Select button on your Fire TV remote to set the restrictions levels that suit you.
Amazon’s restrictions levels are similar to Netflix’s — “General” is content rated G, TV-G, TV-Y, “Family” is PG, NR Family, TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV, TV-PG and “Teen” is PG 13 and TV 14.
Hulu’s parental controls are simpler than Amazon’s or Netflix’s. You merely set up a child’s profile and that basically means they can only access the Hulu Kids Hub library of content.
From a browser, once you’ve logged in, on the homepage click on “Add Profile”
Give the profile a name, then toggle the “Kids” option to on, then create it. It’s the same process on the mobile apps and via TV-connected devices.
Once you’ve made a profile a “Kids” version, Hulu promises the profile owner will only be able to see family-friendly programming.