Will Ferell in ElfHaving gone out of your way to stop the kids renting something like Hostel or Saw, it turns out that it's actually the family films you want to be careful of.

Following a study involving 67 popular children's films released between 2003 and 2007, Dr Jon Eric Tongren, lead researcher at America's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has voiced concerns about the lack of realistic consequences in kid's films such as actors not wearing seatbelts and riding bikes without helmets on. Will Ferell in ElfHaving gone out of your way to stop the kids renting something like Hostel or Saw, it turns out that it's actually the family films you want to be careful of.

Following a study involving 67 popular children's films released between 2003 and 2007, Dr Jon Eric Tongren, lead researcher at America's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has voiced concerns about the lack of realistic consequences in kid's films such as actors not wearing seatbelts and riding bikes without helmets on.

"Approximately one half of scenes depict unsafe practices," says Dr Tongren. "And the consequences of these behaviours are rarely shown."

Elf, the 2003 Christmas comedy starring Will Ferrell, was specifically highlighted for setting a bad example such as in a scene where Buddy the Elf is hit by a taxi and isn't hurt. Thankfully, Dr Tongren avoided any Elf and safety puns. We, unfortunately, don't have his restraint.

The list also sighted the 2005 film, Yours, Mine and Ours as setting a bad example, specifically in a scene where some children on a boat trip are wearing life jackets but not the parents played by Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo. Even some of the Harry Potter films appeared on Dr Tongren's list.

The study, published in the journal, Paediatrics, found 44 per cent of people in motor vehicles failed to wear seat belts, 65 per cent of pedestrians did not cross at zebra crossings and 75 per cent of cyclists failed to wear a helmet.

So what do you think? Should family films set a better example or are we worrying too much?

CATEGORIES Movies