YouTube video channels have become a popular for kids to entertain themselves. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 81% of parents with children 11 or younger said they let their children watch videos on YouTube and 34% said they allowed their children to do so on a regular basis.

In an effort to keep children safe from questionable content, the Federal Trace Commission and New York’s attorney general sued Google (which owns YouTube) for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Because of the lawsuit, Google agreed to pay a record $170 million fine and make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube on Sept. 4. The government said the site knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from children and used it to profit by targeting children with advertisements.

In the settlement, $136 million of the fine will go to the FTC and $34 million will go to the state of New York. YouTube also agreed to create a system that asks channel owners to identify the children’s content they post, and they must also obtain consent from parents before collecting or sharing personal data (such as a child’s name or photos).

Despite the record fine, critics said the penalty was a “slap on the wrist.”

COPPA prohibits operators of online services from collecting personal data from children under 13 with a parent’s verifiable permission.

Tips to ensure quality screen time:

- Preview programs, games and apps before allowing your child to view or play with them.

- Seek out interactive options to engage your child.

- Use parental controls to block or filter internet content.

- Keep children close during screen time to supervise their activities.

- Ask your children what programs, game snap apps they use during the day on a regular basis.

- Discuss what your child is watching and educate them about advertising and commercials.

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Family Movie Night

“LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters

Rated: NR

Length: 72 minutes

Synopsis: In “LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters,” suspicion is on high after Batman, Batgirl, Robin and other DC superheroes receive mysterious invitations. However, family values must remain strong when Batman and his team encounter the villainous Red Hood, who is obsessed with destroying the Bat-family and all of Gotham City.

Book Report

“Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #7)” by Dav Pilkey

Ages: 7 and up

Pages: 240

Synopsis: The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li’l Petey. But when Petey’s own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.

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Did you Know

Since the city of Washington D.C. partnered with country singer Dolly Parton three-and-a-half years ago, 1 million books have been sent to families. The program, called “Books From Birth,” sends enrolled kids a free book every month until their fifth birthday. Close to 35,000 children across D.C. are currently registered with the program.

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