By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Phil Trapelle was texting while walking with his 18-month-old, not noticing that the child wandered away …so begins a Wall Street Journal article on the rise of high tech gadgets distracting parents.

While child injuries had been declining since the 1970’s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a 12% rise in non-fatal injuries of kids under five since 2007.

Although there are no formal studies or statistics establishing a connection, author Ben Worthen cites data from emergency-room doctors believing hand-held electronic devices are a plausible explanation.

Barbara Morrongiello, a professor, who studied the relationship between child supervision and injury says that most people don’t realize how much devices are distracting. Parents who send text messages report that they’re paying attention and “often underestimate how much time they take to do something.”

The article mentions that parents typically don’t self-report a cause for accidents; but these data should be a wake-up call.

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