Practice Safe Selfies

Selfies play an important role in today's carefully curated online presence. They make great profile pics and are the perfect content for Instagram feeds. Many people go to great lengths to get that perfect selfie --- the one that can sum up an entire experience in a single frame.

According to Phototutorial, 92 million selfies are taken every day. The average selfie-taker is 24 years old, with women taking 1.5 times more selfies than men.

Over the years, many people have taken their pursuit of that perfect selfie too far, with tragic results. According to the statistics tracked by Phototutorial, drowning is the primary cause of death while taking selfies, followed by transportation, fall, fire, electrocution, firearm, and animals. Men are three times more likely to die while taking selfies. On average, 43 people die taking selfies every year. That's more people per year than are killed by sharks!

  • In 2015, a woman was killed by a wild bison she was attempting to take a selfie with in Yellowstone National Park.
  • In 2018, a man fell to his death from a ledge in Yosemite National Park after attempting to take a selfie while dangling from his fingertips.
  • In 2021, a minor died attempting to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train in Slovenia.

Safe Selfie Dos and Don'ts

Don't let a captured moment be your last moment. These tips can help you practice selfie safety:


  • Stay focused on your surroundings. Pay attention to any caution signs in the area.
  • Stay in places where visitors are allowed, like marked trails and designated viewpoints.
  • Keep boths hands on the wheel.
  • Keep your eyes on your path.
  • Use extra caution around bodies of water.


  • Take a "selfish selfie" that could put others at risk --- for example, gathering a large group of people at the edge of an overlook. Also, you could risk the lives of bystanders who might try to help if you get yourself into trouble.
  • Take selfies while driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Climb over barriers like the sides of bridges or balcony railings for a better view. Those barriers are there for a reason.
  • Cross in front of, or stand in the path of, moving cars, trains, motorcycles, boats, etc. They are faster than you.
  • Attempt to take selfies with wild animals. They do not care how many likes you could get or followers you could gain.

Find additional safety tips at:

Selfie Safety for Children

When it comes to children and selfies, there are additional concerns to consider beyond the physical dangers discussed above. Be sure these steps are taken to protect the privacy of children if they are allowed to post selfies on social media:

  • Turn off location services so their location is not accessible as part of the photo's data.
  • Check the background for house numbers, school names, or other personal information.
  • Beware of predator-attracting hashtags that may seem innocent (#bathtime, #pottytraining) but can be exploited by others.

Visit the Child Rescue Coalition for more information.