Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not hold media solely responsible for violence in our society, we believe that violence in television, movies, or video games has a clear effect on the behavior of children and contributes to the frequency with which violence is used to resolve conflict. Entertainment media also distort reality on matters such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sexuality, and family relations.
We encourage parents to manage both the quantity and the quality of their family's screen time. Parents can create a healthy media diet and lead by example. Children's TV programming is supported by commercial advertisers whose primary motivation is to sell products. Many young children are not prepared to distinguish between programs and the commercials that interrupt them, nor do they fully understand that commercials are designed to sell them (and their parents) something.
Together, parents, broadcasters, and advertisers must be held responsible for the media that children consume. The AAP strongly supports legislative efforts to improve the quality of children's programming. We urge parents to limit and monitor the amount of screen time (including television, videos, computer, and video games) for their children, to monitor what their children are watching, and to watch media with them to help them learn from what they see.