Distraction by Smartphone poses risks to children
The number of children being hurt whilst using a mobile phone is increasing. Children are putting themselves in danger by using their phones when crossing the road.
The most vulnerable age group are those who are 11 or 12 years old and are making their own way to secondary school for the first time with a new mobile phone.
Children who are texting, wearing headphones or talking on their mobile phone are at risk. They are unable to pay attention to the cars passing by. They experience reduced situational awareness, distracted attention and take more time to cross the road. Researchers at Aston University have found that children fail to spot all the dangers that surround them whilst they are using a mobile phone and walking.
A child’s brain is only able to sufficiently focus upon one activity at a time. So, checking apps, whilst trying to cross a busy main road, could result in an accident as a child would not be able to give their full attention to both walking and their phone.
The University of Aston have complied a list of helpful tips to consider when walking to and from school:
- Avoid walking and using your smartphone at the same time, if at all possible.
- Stand still, in a safe place, out of people's way to use your smartphone
- Turn down the volume in your headphones so you can hear what's happening around you
- Only use your smartphone if you have checked it's safe to so do first
- Never cross the street while using your smartphone
Dangers of tablets in moving vehicles to children
There are concerns about the use of electronic devices in moving vehicles. Many parents use iPads to keep their children entertained during a lengthy car journey.
The death of a three year old girl after being hit by an unsecured tablet during a car accident, has sparked concerns about the safety of using such devices in moving vehicles.
The tablet, at the time of the accident, was strapped to the back of a seat in the car. The impact of the collision caused the tablet to slam into the child causing her death.
The UK’s Highway Code requires that ‘heavy or sharp objects are secured safely’ because of the risk of injury to those inside vehicles. These are no provisions stating that these products must be fastened securely when used.
Parents must make sure, when using such devices, that the iPad or tablet is strapped securely and it is unlikely to fall or hit any passengers. If you are unsure about whether your Child’s iPad is fastened securely it is best not to use it at all.
By Joanna Sachs, Paralegal, Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
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