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There s been quite a bit of talk lately about violent video games and their possible effect on children. Pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, known to many as Seattle MamaDoc, shares how violent video games may play a role:

1. The American Academy ofPediatricssays extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.

2. Video games that reward killing of humans may teach children to associate pleasure with success in getting others to suffer.

3. Children ages 8-18 spend more than six hours each day using entertainment media (TV,computer, video, movies, radio, music).

4. By age 18, the average child has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV alone.

5. Exposure to violence can lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD sleep trouble and nightmares.

Things for parents to know

1. Violent video games may change your child's perception of aggression and maydesensitizethem to violent acts.

2. Play games before buying or downloading them.

3. Observe and follow video games ratings. Use Common Sense Media as a resource.

4. Setting limits -- every parent can!

5. Have kids play together, not alone.

6. Think about a healthy media diet.

For more information

A great site for rating TV, movies, apps, and video games: Common Sense Media

American Academy of Pediatrics: Media Violence

Tips for parents on gaming at all ages

Make Your Own Rating System for games at home

More about Dr. Swanson:Facebook | Twitter:@ | Read Her Blog

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