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Washington, Mar 11: A new study suggests that parents who are too busy on their smartphones usually ignore their kids.

Researchers from Boston Medical Center went undercover in 15 local fast food restaurants to observe nature's parenting playground. Watching silently from a distance, they observed the interactions between family members, noting in particular the reactions children had when mom or dad punched away at the portable keys.

Dr. Jenny S. Radesky, a fellow in developmental behavioral pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and lead author of the study, said that they were taking very detailed notes about observations.

Parents in 40 of the 55 families observed were absorbed in their mobile devices, according to the study.

They seemed more distracted when they were typing and making swiping motions with the fingers than when making phone calls. And almost a third of the parents used their devices continuously throughout their meal, ABC News reported.

Some children appeared unaffected and ate their meals in silence. Other children were more provocative, with one set of siblings singing "Jingle bells, Batman smells" to get their dad's attention.

The degree to which the device was used, however, did not necessarily directly relate to the way in which the child reacted, according to the study.

The research is published in the journal Pediatrics. (ANI)

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