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A seven-year-old boy from Suzhou, China fell off the tenth floor of a building while trying to imitate a cartoon character.
The boy was reportedly alone at home when he decided to jump and use an umbrella as a makeshift parachute. He was immediately brought to the Affiliated Children’s Hospital at Suzhou University. According to reports, it was not the umbrella but a power line that broke his fall. The boy survived and was eventually removed from the hospital’s critical list.
Such an incident can give an insight on how children’s cartoons and shows may impact the viewers’ behavior. Well-known TV show Power Rangers, for example, has often been listed as one of the culprits in promoting violence among young viewers.
Even seemingly child-friendly cartoons have raised concerns among parents. For instance, the misbehaving characters of kids’ show Peppa Pig have been cited as having a negative influence on children’s attitudes.
Experts remind parents to be responsible in monitoring their children’s screen time. This includes examining what children watch, how long they watch it, and how they respond to what they see. Parents are also warned of cartoons that show violence and destruction as mere playfulness.
However, producers are still not off the hook when it comes to the issue. Producers of the Chinese cartoon Pleasant Goat have been held partially responsible after a boy severely hurt two other children. He was reportedly pretending to be the Big Bad Wolf – a villain from the said cartoon.