Tanning bed burns reported on twitter: over 15,000 in 2013
Seidenberg, Andrew B.
Pagoto, Sherry L.
Vickey, Theodore A.
Wehner, Mackenzie R.
Costa, Renata Dalla
Geller, Alan C.
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Seidenberg, Andrew B. Pagoto, Sherry L.; Vickey, Theodore A.; Linos, Eleni; Wehner, Mackenzie R.; Costa, Renata Dalla; Geller, Alan C. (2016). Tanning bed burns reported on twitter: over 15,000 in 2013. Translational Behavioral Medicine 6 (2), 271-276
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 &gt;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.