Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Texting & public health

 

 

From the 16 August 2011 posting at Public Health–Research & Library News

According to a story in today’s New York Times, a study conducted by reaserchers from the University of Oxford and the Kenya Medical Research Institute demonstrated that texting treatment tips to healthcare workers increased the number of cases that they handled correctly and six months later, the effect was still there.

“Since each text cost less than a penny, every nurse in rural Kenya could get reminders for $39,000, the study said. That is far cheaper than sending trainers or brochures, neither of which improved care much, the authors said.”

The original report was published in The Lancet.

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Get Drivers to Stop Texting

From the Kid’s Health Web page – 5 Ways to Get Drivers to Stop Texting

More and more passengers are speaking up about texting and driving. If a texting driver is making you nervous but you’re not sure how to bring the topic up, here are some ideas:

  1. The direct approach. Say, “I’m sorry, but I get really nervous when people text and drive.” Wait to see how the person responds. Most people will admit it’s probably not a good idea or they’ll at least put down the phone.
  2. The subtle approach. If you don’t feel comfortable telling a driver to quit texting outright, try hinting:”Would you like me to type for you since you’re driving?” Or, since more states are handing out tickets for texting and driving, you could say, “I’ve seen a lot of cops out today, you might not want to text right now.” Or point out things the driver has missed seeing (or narrowly missed hitting). As in, “Did you see that dog/kid/overturned bank truck?”

    If you know the person your driver is texting, ask the driver to hand over the phone so you can say something. Then send a message that says, “Driving, talk to you later.”

    If your driver teases you about being nervous, it’s the perfect opener to say, “Yeah, texting and driving freaks me out. You never know if the person in front or behind is doing it too.”

  3. The “Wow, look at that bad driver!” approach. Point out drivers who wander into the next lane, drive 45 on the highway, run a stop sign, or stop at a green light. Then make guesses about who they’re texting. Or make up a variation on the punch buggy game, awarding points each time you see a driver who seems to be texting (this has the added benefit of forcing your own driver to focus on the surroundings, not the screen).
  4. The group approach. If your whole group thinks a driver is a hazard, make a plan together. Take away the driver’s car keys: It’s what you’re supposed to do with drunk drivers, and studies show that texting drivers are even more dangerous. Or agree not to ride with that person. If several people boycott a driver, he or she will get the message.
  5. The life-saving approach. If someone continues to text and drive or mocks you for worrying about it, avoid riding with that person. Let texting drivers know you’re cutting them off (if you feel comfortable doing so) — a little shame makes people think twice about bad habits. Or say something like, “My dad told me I can’t ride with you because he says you text and drive.”

    Speaking of parents: As we all know, it’s not just young drivers who text. If you’re stuck in a car with an adult who is texting (or tweeting or emailing) behind the wheel, be direct and tell them to stop. Most adults know that parents are constantly telling kids not to text and drive, so they should feel embarrassed enough to put down the phone.

If a driver absolutely won’t stop texting or laughs at you for being nervous, don’t argue. The last thing anyone needs is a road-raging, texting driver. Get out the car as soon as you can. Next time that driver offers to give you a ride, say, “no, thanks.”

Reviewed by: D’Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2009

 

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , | 1 Comment

Talking to death: texts, phones kill 16,000: study

Excerpts from a Reuters Health Information news item

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Drivers distracted by talking or texting on cell phones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The estimate, one of the first scientific attempts to quantify how many people have died in accidents caused specifically by mobile telephone distractions, also suggests a growing number of these drivers are under 30.

“Our results suggested that recent and rapid increases in texting volumes have resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities in the United States,” Fernando Wilson and Jim Stimpson of the University of North Texas Health Science Center wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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