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AAP: Parents Need to Limit Kids’ Exposure to Media Violence

Parents should be mindful of their children’s media diet, while media should stop glorifying aggression

MONDAY, July 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Media violence has become a routine part of the daily lives of American children, and parents, lawmakers, and the media should take steps to change that, according to a policy statement published online July 18 in Pediatrics.

The new policy statement, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), calls on pediatricians to routinely ask about children’s “media diet,” and for parents to limit the violent content to which their children are exposed — whether on television, online, or in video games.

Video gaming is a particular concern, partly because of the advent of three-dimensional technology that creates a “more immersive experience with violence,” statement author Dimitri Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., who directs the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, told HealthDay. The policy statement points to a “proven scientific connection” between virtual violence and real-life aggression. Many studies have found such links, Christakis said.

The policy statement advises parents to: play their children’s video games with them, so they know exactly what the content is; shield children younger than 6 from all violent media, including “cartoon violence,” and ban “first-person shooter” games altogether.

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