If your child hasn’t asked for access to TikTok yet, they eventually will. The popular app has attracted users of all ages, and even very young kids want to join in making videos and trying TikTok challenges.
Though there are supposed to be age restrictions, parents often still wonder what the right age is to offer access to this app.
Is TikTok safe for 8-year-olds? If they are navigating it on their own, TikTok is not safe for 8-year-olds. However, with parental supervision and very specific settings in place, an 8-year-old might be able to use TikTok with fewer risks. It’s important to know how emotionally mature your child is before letting them engage with social media.
If you do decide to allow your child access to TikTok, you should know everything you can about it first. From age requirements to user data, there are a variety of factors to consider before letting a child get an account.
TikTok for 10-Year-Olds – What To Know
Ten year-olds are technically tweens, and they will often want access to social media outlets if their friends have access.
Before you give your blessing, know what age TikTok is recommended for and how it should be used by kids.
TikTok Age Requirement
A child has to be at least 13-years-old to have full access to TikTok and sign up for an account. This doesn’t mean children under 13 can’t use TikTok. It just means the under-13 crowd will have restrictions.
For kids under 13, there is a specific section that won’t allow them to search videos or post content, and what they do see will be specifically chosen for the younger crowd.
Your child has to put in their actual birthday for this to work. If they change the year to make themselves look at least 13, these protections are gone.
Does TikTok Verify Age?
TikTok does not verify your child’s age when they sign up for an account. If they want to change their age, they will have to contact customer service and provide proof of their age at that point.
TikTok for Under 13
If you decide to let your child use TikTok before they turn 13, you need to know the risks. While you can monitor your child’s activity, there are still ways they can see more than you know about.
Since TikTok doesn’t verify your child’s age when they sign up, they could actually put in a birthdate that makes them appear older than they are. This would bypass all the protections in place for the under-13 crowd, and it’s easy to do.
A major risk for kids on TikTok is not understanding the dangers of some of the challenges posted there. TikTok challenges have claimed the lives of kids who didn’t understand the potential for harm.
Seeing other people try what appeared to be innocuous stunts gave younger audiences a false sense of safety, and tragedy occurred.
There is also always the potential for kids to see images or hear lyrics that are too mature for them. Though accounts for the under-13 crowd should be private and protected, people your children don’t know can still try to access their accounts.
TikTok for Younger Users: Is It Safe?
Videos are curated and kids can’t interact with other posts, post their own videos, or search.
If your child stays in this area of the app, it’s safe. However, putting a fake birthday will give them access to above-13 features, so you have to monitor closely if you allow young children on TikTok.
Family Pairing TikTok
TikTok introduced another feature to give parents more control over their child’s use of social media.
The Family Pairing feature allows you to control how much time your child spends on the app. It also lets you restrict the content your child sees.
TikTok User Data
Besides concerns over what children might see on TikTok, there are also concerns about what happens to user data that is collected.
TikTok is known for being a social media company that shares more user data than most, and there are concerns about where that data goes.
Every time your child engages with TikTok, data is collected. Their location can even be tracked. Online search histories and other information are often given to 3rd parties without your child’s awareness.
This is a large part of why many parents don’t want their kids interacting with TikTok.
Dangers of TikTok
No matter how careful you tell your child to be, there are always risks and dangers when kids use social media.
Our kids expect to encounter strangers or tricky adults in real life situations. However, it’s often harder to convince them that these same threats exist online.
People with nefarious motives can try to contact kids on social media posing as someone they are not. This puts your child at risk of revealing their whereabouts or other information that could put them in danger.
Being on TikTok means seeing what other people are doing. This can lead to your child comparing themselves to others and feeling less confident in who they are.
They also might give in to the peer pressure associated with trying TikTok challenges. These can be dangerous, sometimes even fatal.
How To Monitor Your Child on TikTok
The easiest way to monitor your child on TikTok is to use Family Pairing. It gives you the ability to control what your child has access to on the app.
Social Media Apps for 8-Year-Olds: Safest Options
Both the options presented below are considered safer for children than more popular apps.
This app is considered Instagram for the younger crowd. With moderators and limited hours for usage, it’s gained a reputation as a safe, fun app for kids.
2. Kinzoo Family Messenger
Keep in touch through this social media app without the stress of collecting likes or comments on your posts.
Is TikTok Safe for 12-Year-Olds?
If your child signs up with their actual birthday, they will have protections that TikTok has in place for the younger crowd. They won’t be able to post videos, and their content will be curated.
Does TikTok Have Parental Controls?
TikTok has options that give parents some control over what their child does on the app.
You can sync your child’s account with your account, set time limits for app use, and put restrictions around what your child can see. All of this can be done through the Family Pairing feature TikTok offers.
When it comes to knowing what your child can handle, you are the expert. Have all the knowledge you need before allowing your child to access TikTok or other social media sites.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.