Texting While Parenting Is Killing Kids

Get off your phone, mom!

Guess what? If a kid is in your care and is inured or dies it’s likely investigators will check your cell phone records to determine your texting and browsing history.

In fact, as Jezebel reports it is now pretty much standard protocol to review a a caregiver’s social networking and texting activity to look for signs of neglect and pressing charges accordingly.

That’s because after a pretty steady decline in child injuries because of all the increased childproofing steps taken by parents there is a sudden spike. Experts speculate the increase in injuries is due to parents and caregivers who are distracted by their smartphones.

It should really come as no surprise. I mean, when people are full-on walking into water fountains because they were so busy on their smartphones it shouldn’t be all that shocking that our kids are getting hurt and even dying because we’re busy tweeting about our breakfast.

Think I’m exaggerating? Nope. The article on Jezebel mentions a case where a 2-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool. The Florida Department of Children and Families concluded that his death was “a direct result” of inadequate supervision because his mom had been tweeting about a tortoise in her backyard for five minutes while the child was dying.

As we all know, it only takes a couple seconds for a kid to get hurt and a quick glance at your phone can often last a lot longer than a few seconds. Another woman was charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor after the toddler she was babysitting nearly drowned in a hotel pool. She told police she had only looked down to text for about 20 seconds but police checked out the hotel security tape and saw she had been staring at her phone for three minutes while the boy flailed in the pool before sinking.

Believe me, I know the temptation to check your Facebook page while you sit on the playground bench watching your kids play. But, according to new numbers there has been a 17% jump in injuries involving playground equipment.

There aren’t any studies that prove a definitive link between the rising number of injuries and caregivers distracted by cell phones but the numbers, according to Jezebel, are very telling. “Between 2007 and 2010, nonfatal injuries of children under the age of five rose 12%, based on emergency room records. In that same time period, the number of Americans who own a smartphone leapt from 9 million in 2007 to 63 million in 2010.”

Just keep those numbers in mind next time you’re tempted to check your Facebook page. You’ll be pretty upset if your kid breaks his arm on the monkey bars because you were busy liking a picture of your friend’s lunch.

Photo credit: nj1015.com

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