cell phone distraction

Warning: Your Cell Phone May be Harmful to Your Health

We’ve all laughed at those slapstick moments involving someone who’s distracted falling or bumping into something. Indeed, the Internet is full of such images. But the truth is that it’s not such a laughing matter. Cell phone usage – while undoubtedly convenient and necessary – has a darker side. Head and neck injuries as a direct result of cell phone usage are on the rise and many ER doctors are concerned about the nature of these injuries.

 A recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head Neck Surgery by Dr. Boris Paskhover highlights these concerns. Dr. Paskhover says he became interested in studying cell phone-related injuries after treating patients who were ‘walking down the street with their phone in their hand, and the next thing you know they would trip, fall and break their jaw.’

The research examined the types of injuries associated with cell phone usage – including those from driving or exercising. They also included those injuries related to the battery exploding or being hit with the device. According to the study the majority of those injuries can be directly attributed to distraction. Dr. Paskhover indicates the problem is not necessarily the cell phones themselves but “telephones as a media platform — the fact that we aren’t using our phones as phones anymore, we’re using them to read and walk around and look at stuff as we’re doing our daily activity — that puts us in danger.”

While researchers found that many of the injuries related to distraction arose among those aged 13 to 29 years, they also found high incidents of related injuries in adults aged 50 to 65 years and older.

The study should serve as a warning to cell phone users that these devices – while certainly helpful – must be used with caution. Indeed, Dr. Paskhover suggests that doctors talk with their patients about the hazards associated with cell phones. A simple reminder, he says, about the dangers of distractive behavior such as texting and driving, can be an effective way of avoiding these kinds of injuries.

Anne Holloway

View posts by Anne Holloway
Anne Holloway is an experienced government relations executive with a demonstrated history of working successfully in legislative and regulatory areas of the consumer goods industry. Anne is skilled in public affairs, grassroots organizing, event planning and government. She has exceptional writing and communication skills with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused on writing from Denison University. A former Vice President of Government Affairs with a trade association, Anne also worked as a Legislative Director for a Member of Congress. Creator of BreadandMother.com a food blog featuring a variety of culinary musings, Anne authored two books, View from a Train and Fear of Heights.

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