Department of the obvious — cell phones can dangerously distract children, too
I wrote here about the recent findings that driving while using a cell phone impairs driving ability as much as being legally drunk. It should come as no surprise, then, that not paying attention to what you’re doing, when what you’re doing requires concentration, can be dangerous if what you’re doing can be dangerous. It’s obvious; I’m surprised someone actually did this study, but they did. The study, in the journal Pediatrics, drove home the implications of this common-sense observation.
The study looked at children (preadolescents) in simulated street-crossing situations. To no one’s surprise, when a child was talking or text-messaging on a cell phone while doing this, they had a higher liklihood of being hit by a (simulated) car. The younger and more generally distractable the child, of course, the more likely this was to happen.