UNM Doc Authors Policy Statement on Media Violence

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released two policy statements, “Media Violence,” and “Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth.” Victor Strasburger, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico, was the lead author for the statement on media violence.

Each statement includes recommendations for parents and pediatricians to take an active role in monitoring and controlling what their children are watching and listening to. Here are some of the recommendations:

Media Violence

Ask at least two media-related questions at each well-child visit: how much television is the child watching, and is there a television or Internet connection in the bedroom?

When heavy media usage is detected, evaluate the child for aggressive behaviors, fears, or sleep disturbances.

Suggest alternatives to media, such as sports, interactive play, and reading.

Encourage parents to follow the AAP recommendations on media use, including prohibiting media in bedrooms and limiting screen time to one to two hours a day, and providing no screen media at all for infants and toddlers under two years old. The AAP advises parents of young children to be very cautious in taking them to see PG-13 and R-rated movies because the content frequently involves depictions of smoking, drinking and sex.

Impact of Music

Become familiar with the role of music in the lives of children and adolescents, and identify music preferences that could be clues to emotional conflict problems.

Become familiar with the literature linking music to behavioral problems.

Encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their children’s music and music video watching.

Parents and the public should be aware of and use the music industry’s parental advisory warning of explicit content.

To view each policy in its entirety, visithttp://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/MediaViolenceLyrics.cfm.

Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322

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