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You want to snap pics of yourself doing everything under the sun, but here’s

how to do it safely.

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You’re out having fun and you want to take a few selfies to capture the moment. It seems harmless enough, but taking that selfie may put you in harm’s way if you’re not careful.

Selfie accidents can be minor, such as stumbling as you’re walking down the street. Or they can be catastrophic, resulting in serious injury or even death.

One study found that 259 people died between October 2011 and November 2017 while attempting to take selfies, although the majority of incidences did not occur in the U.S.  The findings were based on doing a search for keywords in news reports that would indicate a person died from taking a selfie so this may not account for other incidents not reported as being related to selfies. Drowning and falling were some of the top reasons for deaths caused by selfies. Selfie-related injuries are probably far more common. Taking selfies is fun and part of our current culture. But you want to be able to capture the moment without getting hurt or endangering your life.

Here’s why you shouldn’t do these things when taking selfies:

  • Engaging in risky behavior. If you think it’s cool to take a selfie doing something reckless or dangerous, think again. There’s nothing cool about endangering your life just to post it on social media. Use your best judgment and avoid anything that puts you in harm’s way.
  • Not paying attention. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the selfie moment, but if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings, you may find yourself walking into something, tripping or worse. Don’t cross the street, walk along a curb or get too wrapped up in the moment to not notice what’s going on around you while snapping a pic.
  • Leaning too far. The perfect shot isn’t so perfect if you fall off a cliff or even just fall off the sidewalk while trying to get the perfect angle or the ideal lighting in your picture.
  • Taking selfies while driving.  Just as you should never text and drive, you certainly don’t want to distract yourself by taking a selfie. Wait until you get to your destination to capture the moment. No selfie is worth risking your life or the lives of others.

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Date Last Reviewed: April 2, 2019

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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