Author: Michael Rich MD MPH

Ask the Mediatrician: Should kids watch movies with smoking scenes?

Ask the Mediatrician: Smoking in Films

I’ve seen news stories about the dangers of kids seeing smoking in movies. I’m a bit confused, as I no longer thought smoking was really an issue, especially in kids’ movies (G, PG, PG-13) and that smoking in general, is on the decline. Is this something I should still be concerned about when I take my 10-year-old to the movies?

~Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Boston, MA

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Ask the Mediatrician: Should my eighth grader see ‘Eighth Grade’?


I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about the new movie, “Eighth Grade” and my daughter, who is an eighth grader this school year, has been asking to see it. I’d like to take her, but am worried and a bit confused by the movie’s R-rating. Is it OK for her to see it?

~ Middle School Muddled, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Ask the Mediatrician: How do I know if my tween has gaming disorder?

Does your tween have a gaming disorder?

I’m concerned about my son’s gaming. As soon as he comes home from school, he games online until we have to force him to eat dinner, then he returns to gaming and we have another battle before bed. This behavior has only been happening for the past 3 months, but already his grades have dropped and I’ve noticed that he hangs out with fewer of his school friends. Does he have gaming disorder, and if so, does he need to detox like an addict?

~ Disorder or Disrespect, Georgia

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Ask the Mediatrician: Is it OK for kids to play Fortnite?

Is it ok for my kids to play fornite?

Can you please offer guidance on Fortnite? It seems to be all that kids 11 to 14 are doing these days. I do not allow my children to play, but saw my godson play and was horrified — the guns all look real, but the deaths show no blood. As a person who grew up in a hunting family and with firearms, I find the game to be irresponsible and addictive, but was surprised by the seemingly positive review of the game from Common Sense Media. Please advise!

~ Flustered over Fortnite, Milwaukee, WI

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