Children and Dangerous Imitation
Children can be influenced by what they see, hear and read. Behaviour likely to be easily imitable by children in a manner that is dangerous, must not be broadcast before the watershed or on radio when children are particularly likely to be in our audience or online when content is likely to appeal to a significant proportion of children.
Very careful judgements are required about content which might lead to dangerous imitation, particularly when they include the use of domestic objects (such as knives, hammers and scissors) in violent acts. Such content must not be featured in output made primarily for children unless there is a strong editorial justification. Factual programmes designed for children should ensure that care is taken to discourage imitation of techniques, experiments and so forth.
When hazardous activities such as rock climbing, snowboarding or white water rafting are portrayed in factual content either before the watershed or on radio when children are particularly likely to be in our audience, or in online content likely to appeal to a significant proportion of children, we must give warnings about the dangers of imitation without expert supervision and ensure the necessary safety equipment is clearly visible. Where relevant and unless there is a clear editorial reason for not doing so, pre-watershed drama and entertainment programmes, or similar online content likely to appeal to a significant proportion of children, should normally show the correct safety procedures when depicting these kinds of activities.
We should normally observe the law, both in the UK and other countries, unless there is clear editorial justification for not doing so. This includes ensuring that presenters, actors and contributors who are driving use seatbelts, fit child car seats correctly, wear crash helmets and use the correct mobile phone equipment.
We should also show the commonsense use of safety equipment wherever practical, unless there is clear editorial justification for not doing so. This includes using eye protection for DIY activities and protective headgear and clothing for sports and leisure activities, particularly those popular with children such as cycling, skateboarding and water sports.
Section 5: Harm and Offence
- Audience Expectations
- Content Information
- The Watershed and Scheduling for TV, Radio and Online
- Live Output
- Intimidation and Humiliation
- Alcohol, Smoking, Solvent Abuse and Illegal Drugs
- Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Self-Harm and Eating Disorders
- Imitative Behaviour
- Tragic Events
- Hypnotism, Exorcism, the Occult and the Paranormal
- Flashing Images, Strobing and Images of Very Brief Duration
- Acquired Programmes