Are You Texting Too Much?

textingBy Stacey Whitman

Texting is clearly dangerous while driving—whether you’ve got a baby in the car or not. But guess what? Getting sucked into your phone can be just as unsafe as when you or a caregiver is just watching your child.

Consider this: After years of steady decline, the number of nonfatal injuries to children under the age of 5 began climbing again between 2007 and 2010, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. And while there’s no direct link between the rise in injuries and wireless gadgets, some safety experts suspect that smartphones and other handheld devices may be keeping parents and caregivers from providing proper supervision. Jeffrey Weiss, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital who served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee for Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, calls the theory “plausible.”

The bottom line? When you’re with a small child, especially around water, keep your eyes on her, not on your phone or tablet—and instruct all her caregivers to do the same.