Half of parents allowing young kids to play 18-rated games unsupervised

Half of parents allowing young kids to play 18-rated games unsupervised
Call of Duty franchise is rated 18, but many parents are allowing their kids to play. Shutterstock

More than half of parents in the UK let their kids play 18+ video games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty without supervision or knowledge of the game beforehand – and yet just 18 per cent would allow 10-14-year-olds watch an adult movie.

That’s according to Childcare.co.uk, who surveyed more than 2,000 parents and discovered that more than four fifths (86 per cent) don’t follow age restrictions on video games, compared to just a quarter (23 per cent) who said they didn’t follow age restrictions on films.

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What’s more, nearly half (43 per cent) of parents surveyed said they’ve seen a negative change in their child’s behaviour since playing games aimed at adults, and almost a quarter (22 per cent) of the 2,171 respondents said their kids now understand and use negative or offensive language since playing these games.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of respondents were mothers and those surveyed were parents of children from the ages of 5-16, with 53 per cent boys and 47 per cent girls.

Childcare.co.uk’s survey revealed that the majority of parents (34 per cent) said their children spend four hours or more a day playing video games.

10-year-olds playing 12-rated Fortnite

“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun,” said Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk.

“However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.

“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behaviour or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”

To see the full survey results, visit here: https://www.childcare.co.uk/blog/video-games