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Put down your devices on the playground

Researchers: Kids take more risks when caregivers are distracted

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Checking your phone at the playground may be convenient, but the distraction could put your kids at risk. New research shows kids take more risks when they're not watched.

"Children are smart and they definitely check whether parents are distracted prior to taking that risky behavior so we know they are more likely to take the risk when their parents aren't paying attention to them," explained Cleveland Clinic Children's pediatrician Dr. Elaine Schulte.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200,000 children are treated for playground-related injuries in U.S. emergency rooms each year.

Now, researchers have found a child playing on a playground is 3 times m

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ore likely to engage in risky behavior if their caregiver is using an electronic device. Those behaviors include running up slides, throwing sand or jumping off moving swings.  Schulte says it's important for a caregiver to stay focused on their child to keep them safe.

"Be fully attentive while they're on the playground. If a parent needs to bring a cell phone with them it's probably best that they turn it off or silence it while their children are playing," she advised.

Sometimes children can get hurt despite the closest supervision, so experts also recommend talking to your child about playground rules and how to properly use playground equipment.