How to Kid-Proof Your PS4

Kids. They're great— but they tend to be fascinated with your tech. If you're worried about sticky peanut-butter-and-jelly fingers desecrating your prized DualShock controllers, or well-intentioned toddlers shoving multiple discs into the PS4, it's time to take some precautions. Whether you have kids of your own, younger siblings, or tiny relatives trotting through your home, protect your investment and create a kid-friendly and tech-friendly zone.

Kids Playing Video Game

Defend the Screen

You have a screen protector for your tablet and smartphone, right? Why not invest in a similar device for your TV? After all, it serves as the screen for your PS4 gaming experience, and you'd probably prefer not to see it cracked by a flying chunk of Lego Duplo. Many different companies sell TV screen protectors. Some are more attractive than others, and some may be easier to remove in the future than other models. Read some customers reviews and ratings before you invest in one. Once you find a brand and design that you like, install it on your TV. That way, you won't have to panic about scratches or cracks on your expensive screen. Got fingerprints? All you need is a little Windex and a paper towel, and your screen protector is shiny and clean.

Place the PS4 Out of Reach

If you're concerned about little ones experimenting with the buttons of the PS4, jostling it around, or trying to shove things into it, consider moving the system to a shelf out of reach. Sure, they could still climb on a chair and try to reach it, but at least they'll have to work harder to access it, and you'll have time to catch them in the act before they do any damage.

Do Tech Training for Tots

Of course, the best way to kid-proof your PS4 is to become the console gaming "sensei" to the younger generation. Once kids are old enough, teach them how to hold a game disc correctly, how to insert it into the PS4, and how to use the buttons on the console. You'll be surprised how quickly they catch on.

Teach your siblings, children, or cousins how to correctly handle technology like the DualShock controllers and other PS4 accessories. Explain that these items must be treated carefully because they hold the key to great fun. Have the kids wash or wipe their hands before touching the PS4, its controllers, or any peripherals. The training may take some patience and some repetition, but it will be totally worthwhile.

Set Up Parental Controls

Once you teach the kids how to use the PS4, you need to set up parental controls. Create a Master Account for yourself, along with administrator privileges and a password. You can choose a 4-digit parental control passcode via Settings>Parental Controls>Restrict Use of PS4 Features>Change Passcode.  You can also create a master account passcode via Settings>Login Settings>Passcode Management. Make sure that you write down the codes and keep them in a safe place, away from small fingers and curious eyes.

Next, create sub-accounts under the Master Account. The kids can use these sub accounts for gaming, and you'll be able to block or allow certain elements, such as spending, user-generated media, or games with specific ratings. The PS4 allows you to set a level, on a scale of 1-11, governing which games your kids are allowed to play.

If you have kids in your life, protect your prized PS4 while they're young, and then teach them how to respect the tech as they grow older. With the right guidelines in place, they should grow into awesome gamers with skills to rival your own.

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