Parents who are obsessed with their smartphones are putting their children at risk, a senior pediatrician in the UK has warned.
Dr Rahul Chodarhi, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said that people are increasingly more likely to be involved in an accident due to their addiction to their smartphone.
Dr Chodarhi comments come in the wake of a new research paper that found that almost a quarter of parents have been using a smartphone when their child has been involved in an accident or near miss, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The study, which has been carried out by the UK’s Child Accident Prevention Trust found that the risk of accidents due to smartphone obsession was also rubbing off on children.
The study found that 15 percent of children had been involved in an accident, such as stepping out into the road without looking, or a near miss while using a mobile phone.
Dr Chodarhi urged parents to curb their smartphone addiction saying: “Accidents often happen when we’re distracted and mobile phones are increasingly to blame – whether it’s a teenager stepping out into traffic while instant messaging or a baby grabbing at a hot drink or biting into a liquitab while their parent is replying to a text.
“It only takes a split second for an accident to happen so I urge parents and young people to adapt their behaviour.”
Recent data from the United Kingdom and United States suggests that 79 percent of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking.
In Thailand, where there are an estimated 100 million active mobile phone subscriptions, a study from earlier this year found that Thai people spend an average of 160 minutes on their phone per day, checking social media accounts on average 40 times daily.