Kids who talk on cell phones are more likely to step into traffic, according to a new study published in Pediatrics magazine.
Cell phone use can be distracting for anyone, but younger children tend to be more disoriented when trying to navigate the streets.
"Kids this age are just learning to cross the street on their own," said David Schwebel, one of the authors of the study. "They're novices."
Currently, a third of the 8- to 12-year-old population in the United States currently carry cell phones - a number that is expected to rise to over half of the tween population by the end of the year.
In the study, researchers watched as 77 tweens navigated a virtual reality street crossing. The children were allowed to first familiarize themselves with the virtual area. Then they went through the simulation 12 times, six while talking on the phone and six without distractions.
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