The phenomenon of taking photos of oneself is leading to so many serious injuries that Irish medical professionals are speaking out about their concerns.
In just one week, four women in Galway suffered broken wrists as a result of selfie accidents. However, it was the arm that was not holding their phones that were injured, which medics say shows how people place a high value on the safety of their smartphones when they are about to fall.
The age range of people who injuries to their upper extremities at Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) varied from 13-40 years old.
The account of the injuries, as reported in the Irish Medical Journal, said that selfies have been linked to ‘significant morbidity’ worldwide, but trauma associated with selfies including fractures, is rarely publicised.
Four cases in Galway arose in one week, the report said: A 13-year-old fell onto her hand while taking a selfie on a trampoline, a 17-year-old while attempting to take a selfie running up steps, a 27-year-old sportsplayer fell down steps while taking a photo with teammates and a 40-year-old took steps backwards and fell on rocks at a tourist attraction.
The medics have used these cases to highlight the need for education about the hazards of selfie-taking. The reported cases also did not involve the use of selfie sticks or other equipment.
“As social media platforms promote and popularises selfies, the associated hazards and potential injuries need to be reported and published. While taking selfies, proprioception and spatial awareness is often poorer, as attention is focused on a mobile device. This can lead to trauma, resulting in hospitalisation. In our institution, we have noted an increase in the past number of months of selfie-related trauma,” the authors said.
Have you ever had an accident while taking a selfie? Do you think it has led to a rise in dangerous acts and injuries?