Peak national body Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) has claimed that promotions of the movie IT: Chapter 2 have been irresponsible due to the use of graphic imagery in places that children can easily see, such as outdoor posters and internet advertising.

ACCM President, Professor Elizabeth Handsley, said yesterday, “The impacts of exposing young children to such promotions are not trivial. Ongoing issues from exposure to scary images can include continuous nightmares, bed-wetting and fatigue due to lack of or interrupted sleep, which can interrupt children’s education and daily life.”

The ACCM’s consultant researcher in child development Dr Lesley-Anne Ey added that the promotions of IT in particular could also easily cause coulrophobia, a fear of clowns, which can have life-long impacts. Noting the portrayal of IT with blood and gashes on a stark white face and jagged teeth as particularly scary for children, Dr Ey iterates that images such as this can become entrenched in young children’s minds.

“Research demonstrates that children from the age of 6 years old can retain images equivalent to the retention of college students. If children have been unfortunate enough to see the trailer, that contains very scary and gruesome images they are likely to play back the trailer in their mind.”

Prof Handsley claimed that the current Australian National Classification Scheme on its own is insufficient to prevent children from coming into contact with these kinds of disturbing images in cinemas, much less appropriately regulate promotional materials. ACCM have a service to provide parents across Australia with research-based information from child development experts; read ACCM’s Know Before You Go Review of IT: Chapter Two here >>

Feature image source: Pixabay