Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization working to reduce the number of injuries suffered by children, has a shocking new study out that reveals the dangers our children face when they are walking while listening to music or talking on their cell phones — among many other dangers!
It is a study sure to shake up parents!
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the study was planned after a 2012 report found pedestrian injuries to 16- to 19-year-olds increased by 25 percent over the last five years. And teenagers in that age group now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among those under 19.
Read the new study — “Teens and Distraction: An In-Depth Look at Teens’ Walking Behavior” — here.
We have all observed our youngsters walking to school with cell phones to the ears or earbuds in their ears. As parents, we need to remind our children that they need to look out for their own safety and not rely on the attention of drivers, WHO MAY ALSO BE DISTRACTED.
So my message to children in the Twin Tiers is simple but blunt: Put your cellphone and iPod in your backpack and enjoy the walk. It will greatly reduce the possibility that you could be injured or killed while on your way to school!
“Distraction is a big problem, both while driving and walking,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids. “Parents, talk to your kids to make sure they are paying full attention when crossing the street. And we adults need to follow our own advice. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.”
Among the not-so-shocking facts in the study:
- Older teens now account for half of all pedestrian deaths among children 19 and under.
- One in five high school students and one in eight middle students were observed crossing the street while distracted.
- Teens who were distracted were most frequently texting or wearing headphones.
- Girls are more likely to walk while distracted, but the pedestrian death rate is 1.8 times higher for boys.
- 78 percent of teens perceive the most at-risk age group for pedestrian injuries to be one other than their own.
The Safe Kids Worldwide website looks at many dangers facing our children, including fire, playground and even Halloween, among many others! All parents should read about the dangers facing their children. Many of the dangers are too easily overlooked today!
I urge all parents of children from Elmira and Corning to Sayre, Waverly and Towanda, and north to Schuyler County, to check it out.
Thanks for reading!