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Transl Behav Med. 2016 Jun;6(2):271-6. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0388-6.

Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013.

Author information

1
Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, CB 7440, USA. aseiden@live.unc.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
3
National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.
4
Department of Dermatology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
5
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
6
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Burns; Social media; Surveillance; Tanning beds

PMID:
27356997
PMCID:
PMC4927451
DOI:
10.1007/s13142-016-0388-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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