Saturday, September 29, 2012

The increase in usage of Smartphones by parents is causing more children to go to emergency rooms for injuries. This is not a good trend and a nice expample of an unintended consequence that has a real cost to society

An interesting study in whether "correlation is causation". 

The Perils of Texting While Parenting

This article in the WSJ suggests that there has been a significant increase in the number of children requiring hospital visits for "non-fatal" injuries since 2007, due to the increase usage of Smartphones. 

This comes after a decade of DECLINE in the number of non-fatal injuries.
"Nonfatal injuries to children under age five rose 12% between 2007 and 2010, after falling for much of the prior decade, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on emergency-room records.  
The number of Americans 13 and older who own a smartphone such as an iPhone or BlackBerry has grown from almost 9 million in mid-2007, when Apple introduced its device, to 63 million at the end of 2010 and 114 million in July 2012, according to research firm comScore. "
 
The article stops short of making a direct correlation.
"Childhood-injury specialists say there appear to be no formal studies or statistics to establish a connection between so-called device distraction and childhood injury. "What you have is an association," says Dr. Gary Smith, founder and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Being able to prove causality is the issue.... It certainly is a question that begs to be asked." 
 However, data from the CDC might shed some light in the relationship.
""Statistics from the government's Consumer Product Safety Commission, which tracks injuries by product type, show children are getting hurt more during activities and at ages that would seem to warrant close supervision. Injuries involving playground equipment among children under five jumped 17% between 2007 and 2010, after trending down the previous five years, the commission said. Injuries involving nursery equipment such as changing tables were up 31% among children under five over that period, after declining over five years. Injuries involving swimming pools climbed 36% in that age group after a slight increase over the prior five years.""
Next time you are at a playground or in a Chuck E. Cheese, look around at the parents. 
 
What are they doing??  Makes you think...
 
Here are the graphs that accompanied the article:





 

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