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J Community Health. 2015 Aug;40(4):613-8. doi: 10.1007/s10900-014-9974-z.

Injury Prevention Practices as Depicted in G- and PG-Rated Movies, 2008-2012.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA,


Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. The use of recommended safety practices can reduce injuries. Children often learn behaviors from media exposure. Children's movies released in 1995-2007 infrequently depicted appropriate injury prevention practices. The aim of this study was to determine if injury prevention practices in children's movies have improved. The top grossing 25 G- and PG-rated movies in the United States per year for 2008-2012 were eligible for inclusion in the study. Movies or scenes were excluded if they were animated, not set in the present day, fantasy, documentary, or not in English. Injury prevention practices involving riding in a motor vehicle, walking, boating, bicycling, and four other activities were recorded for characters with speaking roles. Fifty-six (45%) of the 125 movies met the inclusion criteria. A total of 603 person-scenes were examined involving 175 (29%) children and 428 (71%) adults. Thirty-eight person-scenes involved crashes or falls, resulting in four injuries and no deaths. Overall, 59% (353/603) of person-scenes showed appropriate injury prevention practices. This included 313 (70%) of 445 motor-vehicle passengers who were belted; 15 (30%) of 50 pedestrians who used a crosswalk, 2 (7%) of 30 boaters who wore personal flotation devices, and 8 (29%) of 28 bicyclists who wore helmets. In comparison with previous studies, there were significant increases in usage of seat belts, crosswalks, personal flotation devices, and bicycle helmets. However, 41% of person-scenes still showed unsafe practices and the consequences of those behaviors were infrequently depicted.

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