Study: Smartphones cause playground injuries

More than 270,000 kids hospitalized for playground injuries

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - New research shows the number of children getting injured on playgrounds is increasing and your smart phone could be to blame.

"I think it's probably the same as having a conversation with your friend and getting distracted, as well too it's just making sure at all times you're able to stay as focused as possible with your child," said Laurie Jarvis.

Jarvis never takes her eye off her 13-month-old Sebastian. She said some parents are able to handle both: watch their child and use their cell phone, but she said parents need to make a decision.

"You can't do the phone and watch your child at the same time for their safety most parents will choose the child over the phone," said Jarvis.

According to a study by Safe Kids Northeast Florida, each year more than 270,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occur on the playground. 75% of those are due to falls and NHS data revealed a 1/3 rise in the number of children being admitted to hospitals due to playground-related falls in the last five years.

Some experts blame these statistics on a rise in the number of smartphones, saying children tend to behave more mischievously when they know that parents are distracted.

John Keane's son is almost two. His recommendation to parents is to avoid using the cell phone at all when your kids are on the playground.

"I'd probably say don't do it. That would be the best advice as a whole because it is really easy to lose track of your kid. You don't know who's around and you don't know what dangerous things are around," said Keane's.

Some tips from the Northeast Florida Safety Council on keeping your kids safe on the playground are making sure it's age appropriate, look for big drops and check for faulty equipment.

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