Cellphone injuries on the rise, especially among teens, young adults, data shows

Cellphones can help kids stay safe, but a new study finds they can also be a danger. Cellphone related injuries are on the rise. Doctors highlight what can happen when people use their cellphones irresponsibly.

So many kids now have wireless ear buds, tablets and smartphones.

"I think as we give them to our kids - that's part of the conversation. Just like if we give them something that could potentially be dangerous. We have to teach them," said Dr. Baruch Fertel with the Cleveland Clinic.

Fertel said the latest research reveals what most people have been suspecting. In the past 20 years, cellphone related injuries have increased steadily and significantly.

A new study looks at the data on more than 2,500 people with injuries to the head and neck as a result of cellphone use. Many involved cuts, bruises, concussions and even internal organ injuries.

"In today's world, where everything is so instant, we always want to multitask, we always want to save time, get so many things done; it could be harmful," Fertel said.

More than 700 of the injuries occurred in young people between the ages of 13 to 29. Fertel said we often hear about the dangers of distracted driving, but there are people who step out to cross the street with their heads buried in their phones, which is just as dangerous.

"It really highlights the importance of paying attention, connecting, coming back and focusing on what we're doing," Fertel said.

He added it's important for parents to not only model good cellphone behavior in front of their children, but to also educate them about the dangers of distraction.

"It can have social impacts on relationships, it can have an impact on distraction," he said.

Fertel said as we become more reliant on texting, we have to remember that looking at our screens requires more focus that just talking on the phone. He said folks should never look at their screens while performing tasks that require coordination such as driving, cycling or even walking.
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