Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids: What parental controls are available?
The Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids is the perfect smart display for young ones. Featuring a small 5.5-inch screen, it's perfect for the night table or work desk. Kids can use it as they would any other Alexa-enabled device, asking questions, setting timers, playing music, and more. But because of the addition of a screen, unlike with the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, they can also do things like watch videos, play games, and read books. The Echo Show 5 Kids can really come in handy for little ones, but naturally, parents are concerned about ensuring that their kids don't get too much screen time and can only access age-appropriate content. This is easily accomplished through the Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids' robust parental controls, which are enabled by default in the kid-friendly device.
What content filtering parental controls are available?
The most important thing parents want to ensure when it comes to giving their kids screen time is that they are only accessing appropriate content. That doesn't just relate to websites but also music without explicit lyrics or inappropriate themes.
Amazon Kids, which comes loaded with the smart display, included free parental controls that will only provide kid-friendly replies to queries. Content will also be filtered when it comes to both web searches and audible questions using Alexa as well as music so there won't be any songs with inappropriate themes or language.
With an upgrade to the paid Amazon Kids+ service (the Echo Show 5 Kids comes with the first year free) kids will only be able to access pre-approved apps and gain access to a specially curated selection of kid-friendly content. Geared towards kids aged 4-7 or so, the content includes thousands of educational games and videos, audiobooks, and more.
Parents can also choose to block shopping as well so a bunch of boxes don't appear at their doorstep, along with the hefty bill that comes with them, because their 6-year-old took it upon themselves to ask Alexa to order some new toys.
Finally, if parents want to keep an eye on what content their kids are accessing, they can do just that using the comprehensive Parent Dashboard. This will give them a complete rundown of the child's activities.
What privacy parental controls can you use?
Privacy controls are important for anyone using an Internet-connected device, but especially for kids. As with any other Amazon smart display, the Echo Show 5 Kids has a microphone/camera off button so the viewing and listening features can be disabled when the child isn't using the device, such as at dinner or bedtime. There's a built-in shutter to cover the camera with just a flick of a switch.
Parents can also delete voice recordings, as with any other Alexa device, so there isn't a history of terms your child has searched for over the last few months along with a record of your child's voice.
Kids can make calls to other Alexa-enabled video devices, but parents can set it such that the child can only reach pre-approved contacts, such as the grandparents, cousins, or a close friend or two. If so desired, parents can also enable calls to emergency numbers so kids can reach emergency services in the event of an unfortunate accident in the home.
What other parental controls are available?
Parents can set schedules with the Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids, including bedtimes as well as daily limits on activities.
There's also the ability to block access to specific activities and content but not others. So, parents can ensure that kids can't keep watching videos once their set time has expired, for example, but can still access things like Alexa skills and music.
A kid-friendly experience
Ensure an age-appropriate experience
While the Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids comes with parental controls enabled by default, you can use the Alexa app and/or Parent Dashboard to customize the experience, setting time limits, filtering content, and more to ensure a fun, safe, and controlled experience for little ones.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.