Department of the obvious — cell phones can dangerously distract children, too

May 24, 2009  |  General

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.

1 Comment

  1. I’m not surprised. But I think that phones have become a necessity and we need to teach our kids how to use them correctly.

    We can also teach them how to manage their money better. For example: I think that credit card and buying things without having the money is a bad thing. Not because of religious or moral reasons but for practical reasons. When you use credit, you’re paying for the privilege of doing so. Even if it’s American Express or whatever… or if you pay off your balance every month, why? What’s the advantage.

    So I dumped my credit cards except for one for EMERGENCIES. Cash or debit card only now.

    I also looked carefully at “regular” expenses and decided to dump my AT&T phone for a prepaid phone. Got a Tracfone for 30 bucks but it was kinda-sorta free since it came with 30 bucks worth of air time.

    Now I budget my phone use by buying the amount of time I want, up front. I also got a double minutes card which makes it an even better value.

    There are some expenses that can be “managed” and those are the ones to budget.

    btw, I do have a mortgage. That’s a different story. But routinely buying stuff on credit? No way.

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