Do texting parents mean more injured kids?

CDC: Nonfatal injuries to children under 5 rose 12% from 2007 - 2010

Published On: Nov 21 2012 01:53:22 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 21 2012 11:00:00 PM EST
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -

Texting while parenting could be part of the reason more children suffer injuries.

Nonfatal injuries to children under 5 years old rose 12 percent between 2007 and 2010 based on emergency room records, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The numbers had been falling before more and more people began owning smartphones.

Local 10 went to a South Florida park recently to see if it appears to be a problem. Dozens of parents were spotted on their cellphones as their children played.

"We'll be like, 'Oh, she's not even paying attention. She's not looking,'" said Iris Saleh. "It gets a little distracting but your kids are supposed to be first."

"It does get challenging. Everyone is always on their cellphone. But he comes first above all," said one mother.

"We all like to be on our cellphone checking our emails or texts, but we are here for our kids to have fun," said Saleh. "This is their time."

Dr. Micheyle Goldman, the Medical Director at the Pediatric Emergency Room at Memorial Hospital West, said injuries at the park do happen but it's difficult to attribute that to smartphone use. She said parents rarely admit when they're not paying attention.

"I recommend everyone focus on their children. Leave the cellphone in the car. It has a place but the place isn't on the playground.