Dad's genius iPhone video hack is a gift for every parent out there with young kids

Most of us set out on our parenting journey with the best of intentions to keep our kids off of screens, and some of us may even succeed at it to some degree. But we live in the digital age, and especially in a year like the one we've just had, parents also need to utilize the tools we have to stay sane.

Since smartphones make it so most of us carry a screen around with us at all times, it's easy for parents to pull up a child's favorite show or movie to put on when the going gets tough. What's not so easy is keeping a kid from touching the screen or pushing buttons that take them out of the video (best case scenario) or mess up your apps or settings on your phone (I once had a kid accidentally do a hard reset on my iPhone by accident—oof).

Apparently, folks with Android phones have something called "Kid Mode" that takes care of that issue with one step. For parents with iPhones, it's not nearly so simple.

However, dad Ryan Chowansky has shared how to do it in a TikTok video that's been viewed more than 25 million times. The steps aren't super intuitive, but once you get it down it only takes a few seconds to play a video on the phone while disabling the screen and buttons so a kid can't muck anything up.

Here's the video with step-by-step instructions below:


(The instructions below work on an iPhone 11. Other versions may work slightly differently.)

1) Search for Guided Access in Settings.

2) Turn on "Guided Access" and "Accessibility Shortcut"

3) Start playing a video in an app (YouTube, Netflix, whatever)

4) Triple-click the power button. This will turn on Guided Access.

5) Click "Options," then disable all of the options.

6) Click "Done" and then "Start" or "Resume." The video should play and you should be able to touch anywhere on the screen and push any button and nothing should happen.

7) To end Guided Access and stop the video, triple-click the power button, then click "End." (You may have to enter your phone's passcode before clicking "End," depending on your security settings.)

Though that all may sound overly complicated, once you have the initial set-up done, it's just a matter of triple-clicking the power button and disabling the options any time you want to put on a video for your kiddo. (Or setting specific options—you can actually set a time limit during that step, which parents may find useful. Or you can make it so that the volume buttons work but nothing else does.)

Guided Access can also be used to keep kids just in one app, so if they want to play a game but you don't want them to be able to do anything else, you can enable Guided Access and just keep the Options turned on. The hack above just makes it so you can keep one specific video playing (which is helpful in an app like YouTube Kids, where it's so easy for kids to click into other videos).

Undoubtedly, some people will chastise parents for handing their kids a video to watch instead of interacting with them, but sometimes a parent's gotta do what a parent's gotta do. Pandemic parenting has added an extra layer of difficulty to child-rearing, so everyone needs to give one another an extra measure of grace and understanding. So many of us are working from home now with kids out of daycare or school, and even full-time stay-at-home parents need a break from the relentlessness.

While too much screen time is certainly a valid concern, watching a quality kids' show on a phone here and there isn't going to ruin a child. However, it might just save a parent's sanity, and any tool that makes parenting a bit easier right now is a welcome gift.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less