Health Watch - Parental Guidance: Violent Messages

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how parents can guide their children in growing up physically and emotionally. When you give your children toys, videos or games, do you think about what messages you’re sending?

You may pay attention to whether the toys you give your children are safe – do they contain small parts or contain dangerous chemicals – but do you think about whether they’re emotionally safe? Dr. Joel Steinberg, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says some toys may encourage violent or destructive behavior. Look out for toy weapons, violent videos or computer games that require players to commit virtual violence. Violent video games don’t depict lifelike experiences because they allow players to just destroy obstacles or reset and start over. That’s something you can’t do in real life.

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April 2010


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