More than 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfies in the last six years, according to a new study from researchers associated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The findings were published in the July-August edition of the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Of the 259 deaths, researchers found the leading cause to be drowning, followed by incidents involving transportation - for example, taking a selfie in front of an oncoming train - and falling from heights.
Other causes of selfie-related death include animals, firearms and electrocution.
“The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem,” Agam Bansal, the study’s lead author, told The Washington Post.
Though the study found India to have the highest number of deaths of all countries, numerous reports of fatal selfie incidents have also come from Russia, the US and Pakistan.
“If you’re just standing, simply taking it with a celebrity or something, that’s not harmful,” he said.
“But if that selfie is accompanied with risky behaviour, then that’s what makes the selfies dangerous.”
Bansal added that he was also concerned about how many of the selfie-related fatalities involved young people. More than 85% of the victims were between the ages of 10 and 30, he said.
“They form the future of a nation,” Bansal said.
While the number of deaths reported in the study may seem high, he said there could be many more cases that just haven’t been documented due to issues with reporting.
This year alone, there have already been several selfie-related deaths. In May, a man in India tried to take a selfie with an injured bear and was mauled to death, the Independent reported.
Just last month, two people died in the US in separate cases also involving selfies.
On September 5, an 18-year-old hiker from Jerusalem died after he fell more than 245m off a cliff at the Yosemite National Park, according to ABC News.