Is Instagram safe for kids? Essential information for parents

Parents often assume that Instagram is less toxic than FaceBook because you can’t rant as much on this platform. However, before you let your children on Instagram, you should ask again, “Is Instagram safe for kids?” The answer can vary depending on your kid’s age and your family dynamics. However, I’d recommend keeping your pre-teens and early teens away from this platform. Even though there is less ranting on Instagram, it is still a breeding ground for online predators and online bullies.
The biggest issue with kids on Instagram is the ease of access to inappropriate content. I mean, the content policy on Instagram is pretty loose. You’ll find a lot of suggestive pictures and videos on this platform. So, I’d suggest that you keep your kids away from Instagram until they are mature enough.

How old is Instagram safe for kids?

As far as the official Instagram policy is concerned, your kid has to be at least 13 to create an account. However, studies from The University of Sydney cite that 13 is too early for a kid to be on social platforms like Instagram. The ideal age limit should be around 16 or 18, as cited by these sources. Usually, 16 is a safe point for more kids as they become aware of all the online dangers and risks.

On the other hand, you might question why Instagram allows 13-year-old kids on this platform. One answer is that this social platform only cares about the number of active users and engagement. It doesn’t value your kid’s safety nearly as much as you think. So, instead of letting your kid on Instagram as soon as they are 13, keep them away from it until they hit the age limit of 16 or 18.

Is Instagram safe for kids

Slowly educate your kids about all the online dangers, and then introduce them to social platforms little by little. Instagram is somewhat safe for 16-year-old kids if they have been educated properly. Otherwise, your kid can be targeted by predators or groomers on Instagram.

5 Instagram dangers for kids

If you’re still confused about “Is Instagram safe for kids,” go through the following list of dangers your kid might have to face.

Privacy issues: kids often don’t realize that everything they post on the internet will stay there forever. They are more keen on sharing personal details, embarrassing pictures, and private content with their social circle. Online predators can exploit their privacy to arrange real-life meet-ups with your kid. Moreover, your kid might later regret oversharing content on their personal Instagram.

Confidence problems: The overly filtered and edited pictures on Instagram will drag down your kid’s confidence. They will keep comparing their bodies to all the models and influencers on this platform. So, limit the time your kid spends on Instagram to avoid such issues.

Cyberbullying: If your kid’s profile is set to public, they can be targeted by random strangers. The chat filter on Instagram isn’t that great. It won’t block profanity or any inappropriate words. People can send slurs and racial comments to target your kids without any restrictions.

Grooming: Instagram can be considered a hub for groomers and online predators who target young kids. If your kid is new to Instagram, they won’t be wary of strangers. So, keep your kid away until they know any better.

Suggestive content: There is also an abundance of suggestive content on Instagram. If your kid is on Instagram, they’ll 100 percent be exposed to such content sooner than later.

The best way to avoid these issues is by deleting Instagram for your kids until they are 16. Just don’t be swayed by their persistent nagging, and you’ll be in the green.

How do I make Instagram safe for kids?

If you do decide to let your kids on Instagram, you’ll have to be proactive about their safety. It is a pretty dumb move to leave your child unattended on such platforms. So, let’s cover how you can make Instagram safe for kids.

Create an Instagram account for your child.

The parental control features from Instagram were recently introduced to the masses. After a massive number of complaints from parents, Instagram added a “supervision feature” that adds usage restrictions. Both the parent and the child should agree to implement such restrictions on an account, and it works best for users between 13 and 17 years old. Once your kid turns 18, you can remove the usage restrictions from the child’s Instagram account.

Create a safe Instagram account for kid

You can access the profile privacy settings to create an Instagram child account. Open Instagram > tap profile picture > open settings > privacy > families > supervision. Just configure the features you wish to activate, and you’ll be in the green. Every Instagram account can be turned into a child account by using the supervision feature. Here is what you can expect after turning on Instagram supervision for the child account.

  • Setting up time limits for Instagram usage.
  • Detailed usage reports for Instagram.
  • View the child account’s privacy settings.
  • Monitor texting permissions.
  • Monitor blocked contacts.
  • Monitor follower list.
  • Monitor content settings.

Use the parental control app to protect kids on Instagram.

Now, the restrictions offered by Instagram parental controls are decent, but they aren’t foolproof. You will only be able to monitor who your kid talks to and how much time they spend on the app. However, you don’t have any way to monitor what your kid talks about and their interests. So, you’ll need to install a parental control app like FlashGet Kids to protect your child.

FlashGet Kids parental control

These apps offer several monitoring features to keep your child safe. Here are some of the features you can get from FlashGet Kids.

With a parental control app, you can get a holistic view of your kids’ online journey. Moreover, these apps also track your kid’s browsing history. So, you’ll always be in the loop about how your kid is using the internet.

Educating kids about Instagram safety risks

If you’re not a fan of either one of the methods above, you can always educate your kids about Instagram risks. It will take a while to help your kid realize how a social app can impact their personality and development. However, you’ll need to be persistent if you wish to keep them safe in the long run.

Here are a few pointers you should bring up when teaching your kid about Instagram.

  • Anything they post on Instagram will easily be accessible to all friends and followers.
  • Strangers and random people on Instagram are very likely to have malicious intentions towards young children.
  • Their privacy is always at risk, even if their account is kept private.
  • There is an abundance of inappropriate content on Instagram.
  • People will likely use foul language and bring their confidence down when they share something personal.
  • They shouldn’t trust anything they see on this social platform because all pictures are highly photoshopped and filtered.
  • Everyone only shares the best moments of their lives, and they should never compare their lives with an influencer.

Just focus on helping your kids understand the gravity of the situation. Explain to them why it’s better to wait until they are 18 to use this platform. Hopefully, you won’t have to worry as much about your kids getting involved with strangers afterward.

How can FlashGet Kids protect your kids?

Now, you can sit and wonder all day about “Is Instagram safe for kids,” but the only way you’ll have peace of mind is through parental control tools. Personally, I’ll always push you towards apps like FlashGet Kids to protect your child. This parental control app will help you monitor and track your kids’ every move. Moreover, you can better control their online behavior when they do get interested in something inappropriate.

Here are some features from FlashGet Kids to help you protect them on Instagram.

Setting App Time Limits

App Time Limit

App time limits from FlashGet Kids will restrict how much time your kid is allowed on Instagram. If they aren’t spending more than an hour on this app, they won’t have time to find strangers or explore new interests. Moreover, they will be unavailable for predators to prey on for most of the day. Here is how to set up app time limits on FlashGet Kids after pairing the parent app with the kid’s app.

  1. Open the parental control dashboard.
  2. Go to Usage limits.
  3. Tap “Add limits.”
  4. Search for Instagram.
  5. Define the time limit.

Setting Screen Time Limits

Screen time limits will also help you limit the overall time your kid spends on their mobile. You can use this feature if your kid has a habit of using multiple social platforms, including Instagram. Setting up the screen time limit to 4 hours a day is enough for more teens.

Screen Time Limits

Here is how to set up app time limits on FlashGet Kids after pairing the parental control app with the kid’s app.

  1. Open the parental control dashboard.
  2. Go to usage limits.
  3. Tap screen time limits > Add limits.
  4. Define the time limit to 4 hours daily.

Block Inappropriate Apps

You can use the app blocker in FlashGet Kids to restrict your kid from downloading more social apps. Instagram doesn’t work that great on the browser, and you can uninstall this app from your kid’s phone. From there, you can use the app blocker to forbid new apps. This way, your kid won’t be able to download Instagram or any similar app to their mobile device.

Use the following method to block inappropriate apps using FlashGet Kids.

  1. Open the parental control dashboard.
  2. Go to usage limits.
  3. Choose “disable all apps” or “forbid new apps.”

Check Notifications

If you don’t want to restrict your kids’ social activities, then you can always monitor their notifications. That way, you’ll get what kind of message they are getting and who your kids are interacting with on Instagram. You’ll also get details on new likes, followers, and much more with this app.

track notifications on kid's phone
  1. Open FlashGet Kids for parents on your iOS device.
  2. Go to Notice.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Scroll through the notification list to check for inappropriate messages.

The bottom line: Is Instagram safe for kids?

Still asking, “Is Instagram safe for kids?” Well, to put it frankly, it is not! You shouldn’t leave your kids unattended on this social platform. The risks far outweigh the benefits, and your kids’ mental health will suffer as well. However, if you still want your kid to expand their social circle, just use parental control tools like FlashGet Kids. With these tools, you can limit most risks associated with Instagram.

People also ask

How can l monitor my kid’s Instagram?

You can use parental control tools like FlashGet Kids to monitor your kid on Instagram.

How can I help my kid get rid of inappropriate content on Instagram?

You can make your kid’s profile private and use supervision tools in the Family Center to get rid of inappropriate content.

Can l see my child’s Instagram messages?

Yes, with parental control tools, you can see your child’s message on Instagram. You can also log in to their accounts on your device to peek at their texts.

How do l block Instagram on my kid’s phone?

You can block Instagram on your kid’s phone with the FlashGet Kids app blocker. It will forbid all new apps, and they won’t be able to install anything on their device.

About the author

Kidcaring, Chief Writer in FlashGet Kids.
She is dedicated to shaping parental control in the digital world. She is an experienced expert in the parenting industry and has engaged in reporting and writing different parental control apps. For the past five years, she has provided additional parental guides for the family and has contributed to changing parenting methods.