Kids' Movies Still Depict Unsafe Practices
Many Popular Movies Targeted to Children Skimp on Injury Prevention Practices, Study Says
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 11, 2010 -- Despite improvements, too much dangerous activity is still
depicted in movies targeted at youngsters, a new study says.
In the study, published in the February issue of Pediatrics, half the
scenes examined in movies aimed at children showed unsafe practices.
The authors studied injury prevention practices in children’s movies to see
whether they have improved or worsened compared to movies from 1995-1997 and
Sixty-seven movies among the top-grossing G-rated and PG-rated movies from
2003-2007 were studied, with a total of 958 person-scenes.
The authors write that certain depictions of injury prevention practices -
wearing safety belts, using crosswalks, wearing helmets when biking, and
wearing personal flotation devices -- have improved since earlier studies but
“prevention practices are still underrepresented.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on media violence
recommends that parents closely monitor what their children watch. Parents
should highlight unsafe practices in movies and educate their children about
practicing safer behaviors, the researchers say.
But, they say, more improvement is needed.
“The entertainment industry has improved the depiction of selected safety
practices in G and PG-rated movies,” the authors write. “However, approximately
one half of scenes still depict unsafe practices and the consequences of these
behaviors are rarely shown. The industry should continue to improve how it
depicts safety practices in children’s movies.”
They note that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among
children in the U.S., accounting for 36% of fatalities among children 1 to
Fatal injuries could be “substantially reduced” if proper safety
recommendations were followed, the policy says, because children “often imitate
what they see on television and in films.”
The report says the Motion Picture Association of American “could consider
injury-prevention practices when establishing criteria for rating movies.”