Teen texting is a popular way to communicate in 2013 – more than 75 percent of teens text in some manner. Unfortunately, texting can lead to a number of health issues, including sleep disturbances, bullying AND serious injury.
About 1 in 3 teens has been shown to text while driving – a staggering statistic. In the Pediatric Emergency Department at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, we have seen an increase in injuries, both minor and serious, among teens who text while driving.
Following are some points for families to consider around texting:
Texting and driving
- Texting and driving, for both adults and teens, is unsafe and against the law in most states.
- Research shows that texting while driving increases the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident 20-fold.
- Start talking to your teen about the consequences of texting while driving – including revoking his/her license.
- Set clear rules about texting and driving.
- Practice putting your phone away while driving. Role modeling good behavior is key to supporting good teen behavior.
- Establish reasonable hours for texting, including no texting until homework is complete.
- “Sexting” among teens is a form of bullying. This can lead to expulsion from school and isolation from friends. Talk to your teen about appropriate texting behavior.
David M. Spiro, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine
OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric Emergency Department