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The Shocking Reason Kids are Getting Hurt at the Playground

Short & Sweet

Craig Palsson, a father and research fellow at Yale University, decided to find out if there was any correlation between smartphone usage and the number of kids under the age of 5 who get injured yearly. The results of his study might shock you; smartphone usage correlates directly with the number of young kids getting injured.

The Lowdown

We've all seen or been the parent on the playground who is completely distracted checking emails, texts or the latest Facebook drama on the smartphone when we should be watching the little people. I know I'm guilty. But really, is a momentary digital distraction a big deal? Yes, it is, according to Craig Palsson's 35-page report, "That Smarts! Smartphones and Child Injuries"

Palsson established causation between smartphones and child injuries by tracking two sets of data: the 10 percent increase of nonfatal, unintentional injuries to children between 2006 and 2012 and the 3G-rollout data of corresponding cities as tracked by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

The fact of the matter is that when 3G arrives in an area, injuries increase. Parents get distracted, and children get hurt playing on playgrounds, walking down stairs and swimming at pools because no one is watching. The reason the number of incidents is higher in younger children is because they need more supervision than older children.

The Upshot

Distracted parenting is dangerous. So, next time your little one is begging you to pay attention, to listen or to watch him play, put down your smartphone and spend time with your kid! There will be plenty of time to play on your phone later, but your child will only be this age once.

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