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Child-proofing your iPad – A Guide for Parents on Safety and Parental Controls

With so much content available on iPads, it can be challenging to know how to protect your child from inappropriate content or online predators. That’s why it’s important to take the time to child-proof your iPad. In this guide, we’ll provide you with essential tips on how to do just that. 

1. Set up Guided Access

Guided Access is an excellent tool for parents looking to limit their child’s screen time or restrict access to certain apps or even certain areas within apps. 

But how? Ever handed your child your device to entertain them, but don’t really want them to be able to access any other apps on your device by exiting out of the game you’ve allowed them to play? Or have you found that you’re happy for them to play a certain game but don’t want them to be able to access, let’s say, the Settings button in that game, where they may be able to make purchases? This is where Guided access can help! 

Guided Access helps your child stay focused on a task by temporarily restricting usage of the iPad to a single app, and allowing you to control which app features are available. 

You can do any of the following: 

  • Disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task
  • Disable areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction or an unauthorised purchase. 
  • Disable the iPad hardware buttons (e.g. home screen) and limit how long your child can use an app. 

To set up Guided Access, go to Settings > Accessibility > Turn on Guided Access. From there, you can enable the accessibility shortcut and set a passcode. 

Once Guided Access is set up, open an app and triple-click the home button to launch the feature (in newer iPad models, triple press the top button of the edge of the iPad). When enabled in an app, exiting out of that app to access any other area in the device will require the Guided Access passcode to be entered, so little fingers can’t click around where you don’t want them to!

2. Use Content and Privacy Restrictions

Another way to child-proof your iPad is to use Content and Privacy Restrictions. Using the Screen Time function on an iPad, you can block inappropriate content and set restrictions for iTunes Store and App Store purchases. Restrictions allow you to block access to certain apps or features, such as the App Store, Safari, or the camera. See how it works in the video below!

To set up Restrictions, go to Settings > Screen Time > (turn Screen Time on if you haven’t already) > tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions. 

From there, you can enable the Restrictions and choose which apps and features to restrict. 

3. Enable Parental Controls in Apps

Many apps offer their own parental controls that you can enable. For example, YouTube allows you to restrict access to mature content, limit screen time, and turn off search. To enable parental controls for a particular app, go to that app’s settings and look for the parental control options. 

4. Monitor Activity with Screen Time 

Screen Time is a tool that allows you to monitor your child’s activity on the iPad, set limits on screen time, and restrict access to certain apps. To set up Screen Time, go to Settings > Screen Time. From there, you can see your child’s activity, set limits, and restrict access to certain apps.

5. Talk to your Child 

The most important thing you can do to child-proof your iPad is to talk to your child. Explain to them the importance of staying safe online and the risks associated with talking to strangers. Encourage them to come to you if they encounter anything that makes them uncomfortable. 

Child-proofing your iPad is a crucial step to ensure your child’s safety while using the device. By following these tips and utilising the right tools, you can provide a safer and more secure environment for your child to use the iPad.


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