Violence online is becoming more and more realistic

Assess Children’s ‘Media Diets’ for Virtual Violence, AAP Says. Medscape, July 20, 2016.

A truly valuable article that highlights the new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding parental guidance of children and their media diet. Commenting on these just-released guidelines of the AAP, Dmitri Christakis, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle says that violence, especially online, is becoming more intense. He is referring to the potential of children to exposure to cyber-violence, aggression via social media and reality-mimicking video games.

Further, Dr. Christakis says that, as virtual exposure to violence online has become more and more realistic, the guidelines developed by the AAP in 2009 really had needed to be updated. He and his associates firmly recommend that pediatricians include discussion about “media diet” with family and children as part of any well-child check-up.

Specific recommendations include encouraging parents to shield all children six and under from all virtual video games and to ban children of all ages from playing first person video games. Though this last point seems astonishing, it makes sense in the context of how realistic these games have become and how potentially detrimental they are becoming.