In this year's "The Lone Ranger," an entire tribe of Native Americans is slaughtered and a bad guy makes a meal of an enemy's heart.
The rating? PG-13. Isolated movie horror? The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says your kids will view more than 16,000 murders on the big and small screens before age 18, and more often PG-13 films are becoming the source.
A recent study found that gun violence in PG-13 films more than tripled from 1985-2010, and now contain more gun violence than R-rated films. (PG-13 means parents are strongly cautioned about letting kids 13 or younger see the film.)
Does this matter? According to the AACAP, on-screen violence often is shown to be the only way to resolve conflict. Seems like this conflict-resolution technique has become common in a few NFL locker rooms. Are these related? Impressionable kids, especially those with emotional problems (and some of those playing macho sports), often adopt such aggressive behaviors. And even if repeated exposure to onscreen violence doesn't spark aggressive behavior, it amps up fear. Not a good foundation for a happy life.
Parents, take the G (guidance) in PG-13 seriously, and read movie reviews before giving thumbs up or down. And guess what? Your kids really won't mind if you explain your reasons for a thumbs-down. They want to curb violence. Maybe PG means parents need guidance, and the kids can give it!
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.