Kids who view gun violence twice as likely to handle a gun, study reports

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Kids who see gun violence twice as likely to handle a gun, study reports: Ali Gorman with HealthCheck on Action News at 5 p.m., Sept. 25, 2017 (WPVI)

Studies have looked into whether smoking or drinking alcohol in movies affects a child's behavior. Now a new study looks at how viewing guns in media affects a child.

Researchers had more than 100 kids, ages 8 to 12, watch a 20-minute movie clip.

One group had the gun violence edited out and the other saw it.

Next, the study participants were taken to a room with toys and a real gun that was modified so it couldn't shoot.

Researchers said most of the kids found and touched the gun, but the children who watched the gun violence were twice as likely to handle and even try to pull the trigger.

Pediatricians said it's important to know what your kids are exposed to and talk about it.

"Knowing the games they're playing and the movies that they're watching, and being aware of what the characters in those films are doing, so that you can start the conversation," said Kate Eshleman of Cleveland Clinic Children's

Eshleman said parents should talk to kids about what to do if they find a gun. And if you do have a gun in your home, it should be locked away safely.

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