Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Communication | Health Information Technology | Public Health | Social Media
Few surveillance tools exist for monitoring tanning bed injuries. Twitter data were examined to identify and describe reports of tanning bed-caused burns. Tweets sent in 2013 containing keywords for tanning bed use and burning were content analyzed to determine whether a burn caused by a tanning bed was described, and additional data on tanning behavior and burn characteristics were extracted. After content assessment, 15,178 (64 %) tweets were found to describe a tanning bed-caused burn. Sites most reportedly burnt were buttocks (n = 3117), face/head (n = 1020), and chest/breast (n = 546). Alarmingly, 200 burns to the eyes/eyelids were mentioned. A total of 456 tweets described burning > 1 time from a tanning bed. A total of 211 tweets mentioned falling asleep inside the tanning bed. In 2013, over 15,000 tweets reported tanning bed-caused burns. Twitter data provides unique insight into tanning behaviors and injuries not captured through traditional public health surveillance.
Burns, Social media, Surveillance, Tanning beds
DOI of Published Version
Transl Behav Med. 2016 Jun;6(2):271-6. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0388-6. Link to article on publisher's site
Translational behavioral medicine
Seidenberg, Andrew B.; Pagoto, Sherry L.; Vickey, Theodore A.; Linos, Eleni; Wehner, Mackenzie R.; Dalla Costa, Renata; and Geller, Alan C., "Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013" (2016). Open Access Articles. 2829.