Stories about: Texting & cellphones

Children's doctors make headlines

If you were near a computer, TV or newspaper this past week, there’s a good chance you learned something about a researcher or doctor from Children’s Hospital Boston. Children’s researchers were recently featured in a wide variety of mainstream media outlets, here’s some highlights.

Leonard Zon, MD, director of the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, was the subject of Nova’s ‘Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers,’ a popular series which profiles some of the world’s leading scientific innovators. The series not only gives viewers insight into the work and research done by these gifted minds, but also what inspires them personally. Zon maybe renowned for his stem cell research, but did you know he’s an accomplished musician as well? For more on Zon’s science and musical background, watch the full episode.

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Cutting – or at least loosening – the electronic cord

It keeps happening, despite my attempts to discourage it. I’ll be at work, seeing a patient or in a meeting, and I’ll get a text from one of my children: I feel sick.

Now, I’m the mom and a pediatrician to boot, so I do see that there’s some sense in contacting me. But I’m in Boston, nowhere near their school, and there is actually a clear protocol for these situations, as I text them when I can get free: Go to the nurse. I’m not even the one who would go get them—my husband or mother-in-law would. But Mark and Jude don’t do text messaging (they haven’t fully figured it out yet), so the kids text me.

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R U Ready 2 Stop TXting?

MA drivers younger than 18 are banned from using phones in any capacity while driving.

Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

CRUNCH!! The sickening sound and subsequent lurch forward were undeniable: the dreaded sound and feel of another car running directly into the back of mine. At first I was shaken, then utterly confused as to how it could have happened. Sure, the roads were a little slick from the rain, but that had lightened up a long time ago. Not only that, but traffic at the time was standing still! How, with dry roads and street congestion, did a  driver manage to bump into my car?

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Drug safety information goes mobile

If you or your kids take multiple medications, it can be hard enough to just get the dosing and timing straight, let alone keep up-to-date on new information about drug recalls and side effects. The web—with all its infinite knowledge—can be a confusing place. But now, a new online application makes it a snap for patients to stay educated about the drugs they’re taking—and report any problems in real time. The application, called Medwatcher, lets users track the latest safety updates from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on specific drugs of interest, as well as read relevant media stories about the drugs. Importantly, it also makes it easier to report adverse events—negative effects from a medication or treatment.

“It’s well-known that the current framework for finding bad drugs—the next Avandia, for example—is problematic,” says John Brownstein, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP), who helped develop the application. “The goal is to put information directly into the hands of patients and physicians who are on the go, so they can be educated and able to report events quickly.”

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