Research has found that head injuries caused by cell phone distraction while walking and driving are increasing…

Who would have thought that quickly checking a text could result in a head injury?

A Rutgers study found that head and neck injuries incurred while driving or walking with a cell phone are on the rise. This correlates with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and release of Pokémon Go* in 2016.

The study reviewed 2 501 emergency department patients who sustained head and neck injuries resulting from cell phone use between 1998 and 2017. They found a steady increase in injuries over that time, along with the notable spikes.

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The injuries included cuts, bruises, abrasions and internal injuries, especially around the eye and nose. More than 41 percent occurred at home and were minor, requiring little or no treatment.

About 50 percent resulted from distracted driving and one-third from distracted walking.

Children under 13 years were significantly more likely to suffer a mechanical injury, such as a cell phone battery exploding or parents accidentally dropping a cell phone on a child or a child hitting themselves in the face with the phone.

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Cells phones are the biggest reason for injury in 13- to 29-year-olds

“Injuries from cell phone use have mainly been reported from incidents during driving, but other types of injuries have gone largely underreported,” says study author Boris Paskhover, a surgeon and assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

“We hypothesize that distractions caused by cell phones were the biggest reason for injury and mainly affected people aged 13 to 29,” says Dr Paskhover. “The findings suggest a need for education about the risks of cell phone use and distracted behaviour during other activities as well as driving and walking.”

*Pokémon Go is an augmented reality-based game that requires players to track animated characters on their phones in real locations.

To learn more, watch the featured video. 

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Source: Rutgers University via www.sciencedaily.com

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