Health officials warn children shouldn’t watch Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’

As Netflix’s “Squid Game” series continues to be a mega-hit with audiences across the country, some medical professionals warn the show is “clearly not appropriate for children.”

But that doesn’t stop many kids from watching it, which is becoming a cause for concern due to its extremely violent content.

If you haven’t seen the TV show, the series delves into the stories of hundreds of people who are in dire financial straits. That’s until they’re invited to a secret location to participate in six childhood games for the chance to win a billion dollars. However, if they lose any of the games, they will pay the ultimate price: death.

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Since the show debuted on Netflix, it has continued to have a grip on its off-screen audience. “Squid Game” themed Halloween costumes are all the rage this year, some kids and teens are mimicking in-person games with their friends, and some of the show’s most violent clips can still be watched on YouTube and TikTok.

According to doctors at the Child Mind Institute, they think no one should watch the show until their late teens, because it is just too violent.

“The level of violence is horrendous – more than most shows,” Dr David Anderson, CMI’s school and community program manager, said in a statement. “It’s a murder party with the principle that out of more than 400 participants, there can only be one survivor.”

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The show is rated TV-MA, which means it is intended for viewing by young adults 17 years of age or older. However, the show is still easily accessible on Netflix, even though there is a subtle content disclaimer at the start.

And on top of the violence, Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that reviews TV shows and movies, said “Squid Game” pushes the boundaries even further.

“Parents should know that the level of violence is very intense in Squid game. The characters are systematically tortured and killed for the sadistic pleasure of a game master. Adults have sex and there are threats of sexual violence: women are grabbed by the hair and beaten. The themes regarding the highs one gets by playing, winning or cheating money are at the center of the concerns, ”the CSM said on its website.

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“Squid Game” has been compared to “The Hunger Games” series because the two have similar storylines – many compete against each other in entertainment games, but only one person can survive and be declared a winner.

However, the films “The Hunger Games”, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, were aimed at a younger audience and had “positive role models” and “positive messages”, including teenage heroine Katniss Everdeen, unlike “Squid Game”, according to CMI.

If teens choose to watch “Squid Game,” CMI encourages parents to watch alongside them so they can understand and think through the content.

Dr Anderson added that even if parents don’t watch the show, they should try to talk to the kids about it and focus on how they are feeling.

“The goal would be to identify children who have recurring and unwanted thoughts about things they saw on the show or pictures that stuck with them. This stuff can become triggers for anxiety and is a good sign that kids should stop watching because the show is not healthy for them, ”the institute said in a statement.

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The institute added that even what time young people watch the show can have an impact.

“Watch a disturbing and suspenseful show like ‘Squid Game’ at night can interfere with sleep, and that in turn can ruin your performance on that science test or that football game the next day, ”said Dr. Anderson.

If your child has watched the show before, or would like to learn more about recommendations from healthcare professionals, visit the institute’s website here.

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