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How to make an iPad safe for kids

Worried about your kids playing with an iPad? Learn how to disable features such as Safari, YouTube, and iTunes, and prevent the playback of mature content.

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At two-years old, my son is already obsessed with the gadgets I bring home from work. He knows my iPod Touch can play Elmo songs and has a Sesame Street app. He knows the Chumby I use as an alarm clock also has games on it. But nothing prepared me for the day I brought an iPad home. He went nuts.

Years from now there will probably be a study detailing how much damage I'm doing to my kid by letting him play games and watch Sesame Street on my iPad, but for now, it's great to watch his face light up when I bring it in the room. I imagine there must be other iPad-toting parents out there in the same situation.

That said, I do worry that if I ever left my kid alone with the iPad (or any computer) for even a minute, he might find some disturbing content online. Hell, you can barely search for Sesame Street videos on YouTube without coming across someone lighting a Tickle-Me-Elmo on fire or remixing him into a gangster rapper.

Fortunately, the iPad (as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch) includes a set of restriction settings that parents can use to limit its access to the Internet and censor the playback of mature music and videos. To see how it's done, check out my How To video on CNET TV.