Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Warning: Technology Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Hard on the heels of last week's warnings about cell phones and cancer comes this new report from USA Today on the dangers of texting while doing just about anything:

Obama aide Valerie Jarrett fell off a Chicago curb several weeks ago while her thumbs were flying on her Blackberry.

"I didn't see the sidewalk and I twisted my ankle," Jarrett said. "It was a nice wake-up call for me to be a lot more careful in the future, because I clearly wasn't paying attention and I should have."

Jarrett got off easy and didn't need medical attention. [...]

Still, ER doctors who responded to a recent informal query from the organization reported two deaths, both in California. A San Francisco woman was killed by a pickup earlier this year when she stepped off a curb while texting, and a Bakersfield man was killed last year by a car while crossing the street and texting.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has no national estimate on how common texting-related injuries are. But among the reports it has received: A 15-year-old girl fell off her horse while texting, suffering head and back injuries, and a 13-year-old girl suffered belly, leg and arm burns after texting her boyfriend while cooking noodles.

Our kids are going to grow up among the most wired generation ever to set foot on the face of the earth--that is, if they can set foot without being distracted by the ringing of the cell phone, the beep of the pager or text message device, or the blare of music from the tiny portable music player resting in their pocket. And while some of these devices are helpful or nice to have in certain circumstances, too much time and attention focused on them can do more than cause stress--it can actually be dangerous.

No comments: