Using a ‘digital babysitter’ is one of the worst phone habits

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Nearly half of parents said that they spend too much time on their phones around children

Using phones as a ‘digital babysitter’ for children and looking at devices while driving are among the worst phone traits of British parents, according to a study.

In the survey, mobile phone comparison website sellmymobile.com asked more than 2,000 British people about bad mobile habits, revealing that 32 per cent of respondents thought parents had bad smartphone habits around their children.

Nearly 70 per cent thought parents who spent too much time on their phones were not setting a good example for their children and 34 per cent that parents focused on their phones while expecting others to look after their children when out or with friends; 29 per cent flagged up parents letting their children using their phone as a ‘digital babysitter’.

The average age that respondents thought that a child should be given a phone or tablet was 11. One in eight said they had seen parents using their phone while driving with their children in the car.

Almost half the parents polled admitted they were guilty of spending too much time on their phones when around their children.

Sellmymobile.com spokesperson Rob Baillie said that with phones, “we’re never disconnected from those we love and can even keep up with work whilst on the go; however, this pocket convenience can distract us from our surroundings.

“This study has demonstrated that parents are under a huge amount of scrutiny from those around them. There are a lot of contradictory reports on the impact of mobile and tablet use, which makes it hard to make the right call, but ultimately the parents will know best what is right for their child.”

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