Cartoons 'should have movie-style age ratings' to protect kids against violence

Posted By: Staff
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London, Nov 9 (ANI): A British child safety expert has advocated age rating for cartoons just like films so that kids can be protected against the violence shown in programmes like Scooby Doo and Batman.

According to Dr Karen Pfeffer, a senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln, dangerous actions that would normally lead to injury are hardy shown to have ill effects in cartoons.

She says children watching violent cartoons are more prone to indulge in risky behaviour and injure themselves.

Dr Pfeffer rated cartoon shows like Scooby-Doo, Batman, X-Men and Ben 10 as containing scenes with the most risky behaviour.

"I have looked at whether television's portrayal of risky behaviour affects children and have found evidence of children imitating dangerous TV behaviours, evidence of a positive correlation between amount of TV viewing and injury rates and evidence that TV viewing can affect children's perceptions of risk," the Telegraph quoted her, as saying.

"The problem is that these characters engage in risky behaviours and experience great violence but the negative consequences of dangerous behaviour are usually not portrayed."

Dr Pfeffer added: "There is no simple relationship between TV viewing and children's behaviour but children can imitate and learn from these images of violence, particularly if no negative consequences are portrayed.

"TV provides dangerous role models for children, especially boys. It is recommended that children's television programmes, particularly live action programmes, include ratings for parents on the portrayal of injury content. This would assist parents to make informed decisions."

Dr Pfeffer, an international mentor for the World Health Organisation, will address the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents this week and seek a rating for children's TV shows so that parents can keep a chjheck on what their children are watching.

Her paper, Risk and injury portrayal in boys' and girls' favourite television programmes, will be published later this November. (ANI)

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