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  Texting Smarts for Adults and Kids
Cellphone safety when you're on the move

By Joan McClusky
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Texting is a quick and easy way to communicate, but it can be a dangerous distraction when you're also doing anything else. Young or old, the human brain simply can't give full attention to several tasks at once.

Besides stealing your attention, texting slows your reaction time and keeps you from focusing on the world around you. Knowing when and when not to text will help you stay safe when you're connected.

Make it a rule not to text when you're doing something that requires total attention, and mute your phone so you won't be distracted. Driving tops the list. Set a good example for your kids -- pull over before you read or answer a text.

Next is walking. Research has found that, mile for mile, distracted walking results in more injuries than distracted driving, and makes pedestrians 60 percent more likely to veer off course.

One lab study, published in the journal Procedia Manufacturing, tested reaction time among college students using a smartphone in a variety of ways, such as texting, watching a video or playing a game. Though accident risk was highest during gaming, doing any one of the distraction actions while walking increased the risk of a pedestrian accident.

If you must text while walking, download a mobile app that lets you do it by voice command so you don't have to look down to type.

Other no-text scenarios include jogging outdoors; using fitness equipment or machinery of any kind; and when alone after dark because being distracted could make you an easier target for a thief.

The risks of texting also go beyond the physical. A study of college freshmen found that the more daily texts they sent, the greater their sleep problems, feelings of burnout and loss of emotional well-being.

The bottom line: Only text when it doesn't put you or anyone else in danger.

More information

The Federal Communications Commission has more on the hazards of texting while driving, including a link to state laws and facts about wireless devices.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=726356

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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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