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News Story
Updated: 10/11/2012 08:00:39AM

Distractions are linked to spikes in injuries, deaths

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People are now well aware of the deadly danger of driving while texting and 10 states and the District of Columbia have passed bans on using handheld cell phones while driving. But new statistics reported in a Wall Street Journal article last weekend suggest cell phone use may be linked to a startling rise in accidents — at home. Meanwhile, a separate study by a child safety advocacy group found a similar culprit to blame in a rise in teen pedestrian accidents.

In “The Perils of Texting While Parenting,” the Journal cited a 12 percent rise in nonfatal, unintentional injuries involving infants and toddlers 5 years old and younger. Tragically, the biggest jump was reported for drownings (35.9 percent) and near drownings (105.3 percent). The Centers for Disease Control reported the trend covers the years between 2007 and 2010 and noted it comes after steady declines in such accidents going back to the 1970s. Child safety experts attribute the decline to home safety campaigns and new products such as staircase baby gates, electrical outlet covers and household poison control efforts. But cell phones may be undoing the advances.

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