Texting While Parenting

Texting at the Playground

Look at any playground and you’ll see kids playing on swings and climbing on monkey bars while their parents sit on benches texting.

For that matter, look at the supermarket checkout line or the city sidewalk and you’ll see the same thing. We’ve become a nation of texters– and parents are no different.

Having mom or dad constantly distracted by a mobile device might send the wrong message to kids about technology (that it’s more rewarding that human interaction, for one thing). More troubling, all of this texting while parenting may also be causing more accidents.

Although there is no direct evidence linking the increase in texting and multi-tasking with the increase in childhood accidents, experts see a clear association.

“It’s very well understood within the emergency-medicine community that utilizing devices—hand-held devices—while you are assigned to watch your kids—that resulting injuries could very well be because you are utilizing those tools,” Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the emergency center at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital told The Wall Street Journal.

Surely it’s not a coincidence that after declining for over a decade due to new safety regulations, non-fatal injuries to children under age five rose 12% between 2007 and 2010, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on emergency-room records.

What do you think? Do you get caught up in your mobile phone while your kids are around? Is it dangerous to text and parent?