Too much texting (or social networking)...it could be hazardous to your teen’s health Show Notes

Thursday, March 22, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Too much texting could be hazardous to your health—at least if you’re a teenager. 

According to Researchers at Case Western School of Medicine in Cleveland, excessive texting and social networking may increase teens' risk for a whole host of dangerous behaviors, including smoking, drinking and sexual activity.

The study looked at two things- “hyper-texting” (which they defined as sending more than 120 messages per school day), and “hyper-networking” (which was spending more than three hours on social networking sites during a given school day.

Hyper-texters were: 40 percent more likely to have tried smoking; two times more likely to have tried alcohol; and 43 percent more likely to binge-drink;

They were also 41 percent more likely to have used illegal drugs; 55 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight, and nearly 3.5 times more likely to have had sex. 

The results were similar for the “hyper-networkers,” and that group of kids was also more likely to be anxious, depressed, suicidal and to fail in school.

Dr. Scott Frank, the director of Case Western Reserve’s Master of Public Health Program, says "This should be a wake-up call for parents--not only to help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of the cell phone or social web sites in general.

If you’re the parent of teenagers, are you willing to heed Dr. Frank’s warning?  And if you plan to discuss this with your kids, talk them in person—don’t send them a text.

I’m Bill Maier for family friendly, commercial free, WBCL.

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