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Language & Learning

A Search Engine That's Safe for Kids

Sketchy internet? Not on your kid's device...

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Although it still amazes many of us that kids seem to know how to use smartphones way too well, it might be even more frightening to picture them logging onto a computer and doing Google searches. Because while he might start with 'cookies,' you don't really know where the web will lead him.

But there's a new, for-kids search engine named Kiddle that might put your worries to rest. Simply put, the site allows kids to search for text content, photos, news, and video. Once they plug in their query, they're served child-safe results that are filtered by Google's SafeSearch (which anyone anywhere can use; Kiddle isn't actually affiliated with Google). Kiddle also uses has larger thumbnails, illustrations, and a bigger font to help kids read easier.
Parents can block certain sites, too, but it's still important to make sure you're keeping a close eye on your kid's internet activity. Although it's unlikely that your toddler is using the search functionality on tablets, computers, or smartphones, it may be worth changing the browser settings to Kiddle.co to be on the safe side. Otherwise, Kiddle.co makes the most sense for early-elementary school children.

And even with all these precautions set up, it's still important to make sure you're keeping a close eye on your kid's internet activity, especially as they age. Some tips from Kiddle and Common Sense Media include:

  • Talk to your kids about online safety. Chat with your child about why it's important to follow your rules on the computer and that it's part of being safe. Agree to which sites and online activities are okay. 
  • Make sure they know what to share or not. If your kid runs into a situation where they're asked for personal details, make sure they know what to do in the moment. Just like they wouldn't get into a car with a stranger, tell them they shouldn't trust sites with information like their name, age, school, address, or phone number. 
  • Do your own digging. Along with Kiddle, there are also social sites recommended from Common Sense Media. You can also find recommendations for kid-friendly phone apps, websites, games, and much more.