Half of scenes in children's movies unsafe: study

January 14, 2010

Approximately one-half of the scenes shown in popular children's movies depict characters acting in an unsafe manner, according to a study published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics.

As part of the study, researchers examined behaviors in 67 movies targeted to children to determine whether depiction of safe practices in film was increasing or decreasing. The study focused on the top 25 highest-grossing children's movies from 2003 to 2007. Animation, fantasy films, documentaries and non-English-speaking movies were excluded.

Results indicated that films showed 75 percent of individuals on boats wearing personal floatation devices, 56 percent of people in vehicles using safety belts, 35 percent of pedestrians using crosswalks and 35 percent of bicyclists wearing helmets. Study authors concluded that parents should highlight the depiction of unsafe behaviors in movies and educate children in following safe practices.