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Teach Cell Phone Safety

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Gaetan Lee, CC licensed

Listen up moms of cell phone-carrying kids! 

A recent University of Alabama at Birmingham study showed that children took longer to cross streets and left less time to spare between themselves and approaching vehicles when they were chatting on their phones. They were less likely to look both ways before crossing streets and more likely to get hit by cars, too.

Getting rid of your tween's phone probably isn't the answer. For a lot of parents that cell phone has become indispensible for reaching a mobile kid. But if your child is one of the estimated 54% of 8- to 12-year oldsexpected to have a cell phone by the end of next year, you might want to discuss your family's phone rules.

Check out the Center on Media and Child Health site for guidelines your family might consider. My favorite? When mom calls, answer. Immediately.