Protecting children

21 February 2019

We all want our children to get the most from the wealth of technology available today.

The internet, digital TV, mobile phones and other technology are transforming everything - from how they learn and play to how they keep in touch.

But, as parents, we also want to make sure children are shielded from material we wouldn't want them to see or hear.

Protecting children

Protecting children from harmful or inappropriate material on TV, radio and video-on-demand services is one of Ofcom's most important duties and we take it very seriously.

In this section you can find out how we do that - through our Broadcasting Code and video-on-demand rules - and learn more about the research we regularly carry out with parents and other viewers and listeners.

This research helps us understand what audiences think is appropriate, as well as what they think about specific issues, like whether the TV watershed is at the right time.

How Ofcom's codes and rules protect children

Parents' and teens' views on the TV watershed (PDF, 248.9 KB)

Ofcom guidance on the watershed for broadcasters (PDF, 89.7 KB)

Advice guides for parents


If you are concerned about:

  • something you have seen or heard on TV, radio or video on demand programmes, click here.
  • an advertisement in print, broadcast, online or on a billboard, click here.
  • a film at the cinema, on home or on the move, click on one of the below:

The BBFC website is the main site of the UK's regulator of film and video, including content released online, and a platform where you can find out about the classification of content given an age rating by the BBFC and contact the BBFC direct with feedback.

CBBFC is the BBFC website for children, showing age ratings of films at the junior categories U, PG and 12A/12 with tailored content advice for new releases so children can find out more about what they view.

Age-verification Regulator has detailed frequently asked questions about age-verification.

  • any kind of video game played on a console, screen or phone, click here.
  • a newspaper or magazine either in print of online, click here.