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ER Docs Warn: Don't Text While Rollerblading

As is reported in today's Health section, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has issued a warning about the dangers of text-messaging (communicating by writing and receiving messages composed on cellphone keypads) while engaged in other activities, from driving or crossing the street to Rollerblading or cooking. While nobody's yet gathered stats on the matter, ACEP says there's mounting anecdotal evidence that texting's a big distraction that can lead to injury -- and, yes, even death.

In a statement issued last week, ACEP shared some horror stories -- from people getting scraped-up faces from falling or bumping into things while they texted while walking to folks getting fatally hit by vehicles as they stepped into the street, too absorbed in their texting to watch for traffic.

And while the alert has a back-to-school theme aimed at kids and teens, those stories make clear that adults are as much at risk as younger texters.

The Checkup called Children's National Medical Center in D.C. and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville; both told me they'd seen no evidence of the text-messaging/injury phenomenon. (A third hospital didn't return my call.)

But what about you? Have you seen any scary incidents involving people texting while otherwise occupied? And now's the time to 'fess up: do you find yourself texting while doing something else, too? Have you got into any scrapes that way?

NOTE: Starting at noon today, we'll be turning off comments on this blog for about 24 hours to allow for some sorely needed software upgrades and other maintenance. The Checkup welcomes and values your comments; we look forward to reading them again once the upgrade is complete.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  August 5, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  General Health  
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