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Are You Teaching Your Kids Bad Phone Habits?

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Are you using your smartphone around your children? Could your behavior with your device have a negative effect on them?
Air Date: 3/12/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: David Hill, MD
david hill 2013Dr. David Hill is Vice President of Cape Fear Pediatrics in Wilmington, NC and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UNC Medical School. He serves on the executive committees of the North Carolina Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics Council On Communications and the Media. In addition to writing a monthly column for Wilmington Parent Magazine, Dr. Hill writes and records for multiple websites including as Livestrong.com, eHow.com, and thedoctorsvideos.com. He has three children, ages 6, 9, and 11.
Are You Teaching Your Kids Bad Phone Habits?
Many a parent has turned to a smartphone or tablet during a restaurant outing with children.

How does this mobile device use affect parent-child interactions?

Researchers recently sought to describe patterns of how caregivers and children use mobile devices around each other.

In the study, "Patterns of Mobile Device Use by Caregivers and Children During Meals in Fast Food Restaurants," published in the April 2014 Pediatrics (published online March 10), researchers observed 55 caregivers eating with one or more young child in fast food restaurants.

The researchers wrote detailed field notes, describing how the caregivers used their mobile devices and how they interacted with the children.

Researchers described how "absorbed" the caregiver was in the device, how children responded when caregivers used a device and how caregivers managed this behavior, and co-viewing or shared use of devices by caregivers and children.

Caregivers who used devices ranged from having the device on the table to almost constant absorption with the device throughout the meal.

Some children accepted the lack of engagement and entertained themselves; others acted out in a bid for attention.

The study raises several questions for future research, including what types of activity (eg, work, entertainment) on mobile devices are associated with the highest levels of caregiver absorption, and what are the long-term effects on child development from caregivers who frequently become absorbed with a device while spending time with their children.

Dr. David Hill discusses the results of the study, as well as the significant impact smartphone use can have on those around you.
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