It's incredibly sad but necessary to point out that media violence has become a routine part of the daily lives of American children. Pediatricians are strongly suggesting that parents, lawmakers and the media should take the steps to change that ASAP.
Here are the CliffNotes:
The new policy statement, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), calls on pediatricians to routinely ask about children's "media diet," and for parents to limit the violent content their kids see -- whether on TV, online or in video games.
Video gaming is a particular concern, partly because of the advent of 3D technology that creates a "more immersive experience with violence," said statement author Dr. Dimitri Christakis.
The policy statement points to a "proven scientific connection" between virtual violence and real-life aggression, the doctors say.
Let's say 2 percent of the population behaves more aggressively after being exposed to violent media," Christakis said. "Out of the 20 million people who see the latest violent blockbuster, that's 400,000 additional acts of aggressive behavior."
There is evidence that media images of terrorist attacks and other traumatic events can trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms in some children.
Young children, he said, are not mature enough to process those images, and should simply not see them.
With somewhat older kids -- around age 10 -- it's possible they're seeing these things on their phones or iPads, or have heard about them from friends, Beresin said.
"The news can make the world seem like a very scary place," he said. "With young children, it's better that they not see it all. With older kids, talk about what's happening."