Mums and Dads, stop playing games on your smartphone or tablet, and start playing games with your kids. A new study in the U.S. has linked the rise of the iPhone to a 10% increase in children’s injuries. It may sound spurious, but Yale graduate student Craig Palsson has the data to back it up.
Parents are reportedly more distracted these days – thanks in no small part to their phones – so they’re not watching their children as closely. Palsson’s research looks at the release of the iPhone, and the roll-out of 3G support into new cities, and compares it to the number of injured kids. The link is startling: Hospitals saw an increase in child injuries “after AT&T expanded its 3G network into the area”.
There were two distinct areas that saw marked increases in injuries: Activities that require direct supervision (like playing on a playground, rather than participating in sports), and among younger children (who tend to need more eyes-on supervision).
Palsson’s research suggests that even though parents are still taking their kids to the playground (which is good news), they are spending their time staring at their handheld screens instead of watching them play (which is bad).
Perhaps, if you’re a parent or caregiver in charge of young children, you should pay more attention to them, rather than the latest update for Two Dots. Save the gametime for later.