Researchers: Put devices away on playground

More than 200,000 children are treated for playground-related injuries every year


DETROIT – Checking your phone at the playground may be convenient – but the distraction could put your kids at risk.

More than 200,000 children are treated for playground-related injuries in U.S. emergency rooms each year according to the consumer product safety commission. Dr. Elaine Schulte is a pediatrician at Cleveland clinic children's.

She says kids take more risks when they're not watched, so it's important to eliminate distractions.

"Children are smart and they definitely check whether parents are distracted prior to taking that risky behavior so we know they are more likely to take the risk when their parents aren't paying attention to them," said Dr. Elaine Schulte of the Cleveland Clinic.

Electronic devices, like cell phones, are known to distract drivers but they can also be a safety hazard elsewhere. Research shows a child playing on a playground is 3 times more likely to engage in risky behavior if their caregiver is using an electronic device. Those behaviors include running up slides, throwing sand or jumping off moving swings.

Dr. Schulte says it's important for a caregiver to stay focused on their child to keep them safe.

"Be fully attentive while they're on the playground. If a parent needs to bring a cell phone with them it's probably best that they turn it off or silence it while their children are playing."