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Media safe for children – An information offer for parents

2 minutes reading time
3-17 years
Tool description
Logo: medien-kindersicher.de

Smartphones, tablets and other digital devices are fascinating for children. As a parent, you may be worried if your child plays with it and watches videos without any hindrance. Certain settings in apps and on devices are intended to help ensure that secure use is possible. The medien-kindersicher.de website provides compact, step-by-step instructions on how to make such parental control settings.

In a nutshell:

  • Online information for parents on the technical protection of minors from harmful media
  • for parents of children from 3 years
  • explained step by step and simply
  • free offer usable with and without registration
  • Independent offering (from three state media authorities)

What does medien-kindersicher.de offer?

The online information service helps you to set the apps and services used by your child in a youth-friendly way. On the website, you can select the device used, the software of the device and the app used. Depending on the specified age, it will then explain which appropriate parental control settings are useful and how you can activate them. In addition to understandable short instruction texts, there are also small video clips that illustrate the settings. It also shows how to set up game consoles, voice assistants or routers, e.g. the age rating for games on the Nintendo Switch game console. On the website you will find additional helpful information on age recommendations.

Another offer, which is only available after free registration on the site, is the “Media Child Safe Assistant”: for this, you specify the devices, apps and applications used by your child, as well as the age of your child. You will then be offered suitable protection solutions and the necessary steps will be explained.

What is problematic about the offer and what should parents pay attention to?

The site offers clear and easy-to-follow instructions for the most important and popular apps, but there could be more. After all, children and young people also use other services. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether the page will continue to be filled with information.

The page pretends that with the information you can make a safe setting of the devices. However, there can never be one hundred percent certainty! Youth protection settings can only be a supplement to your education and guidance. It is therefore all the more important that you accompany your child’s media use from the very beginning and set a good example . Take an interest in how older children and teens interact with media, too. Ask questions and be responsive to problems. Gradually trust your child to use media responsibly.

The ideas of child-friendly media use are not always the same. While some parents already let their children see certain content or allow apps, other parents think it’s too early for that. Therefore, you should be aware of the age limits and the restriction of content and usage by the parental control settings. It can also help to exchange ideas with other parents. Keep in mind that every child is different – also related to the individual developmental stage. Together with your child, agree on rules for safe media use in the family. If you like to make settings on devices and in apps, you should talk to your child about it and explain it so that your daughter or son doesn’t feel controlled.

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