Modern life basically requires running around with a cell phone. Today’s high-tech, super connected world is all about being available 24/7, checking emails, seeing what’s happening on social media, perusing the news, playing with apps, and engaging in everything else our cell phones provide. They’re convenient, fun, helpful, sometimes distracting…and dangerous? That is what some studies are saying, specifically when it comes to unborn babies and young children.
The BabySafe Project has issued a public awareness campaign connecting exposure to cell phone radiation with risks to babies’ brain development. Information gathered from various independent scientific research studies links exposure to wireless radiation from cell phones during pregnancy to neurological and behavioral problems down the road – specifically ADHD.
Naturally, this isn’t something all parents are seeing, – and nearly all of us use cell phones – even expecting mothers. So, what can moms-to-be do to be on the safe(r) side? The BabySafe Project has some simple ways to limit exposure, something that will give parents peace of mind, if nothing else.
Five Easy Ways to Reduce Exposure (as per BabySafe Project):
- Keep your cell phone away from your body. Never carry it in a pocket or bra. Never sleep with your phone.
- Avoid cordless phones and their transmitting bases.
- Keep your wireless laptop or tablet away from your body. Never rest your wireless device on your tummy.
- Avoid close proximity to Wi-Fi routers, and “smart” utility meters. Turn off routers at night.
- Whenever possible, connect to the internet using wired (Ethernet) cables.
What about babies and young children?
They can be at risk of radiation too, as per Dr. Philip Chadwick, Chair of the European safety committee on EMF, as reported by Mirror UK. Babies’ skulls are thinner and their brains are developing. “In general and on average, children suffer a higher exposure of their brain regions than adults, notes the National Center for Health Research.” Down the road, this has been corelated with hyperactivity, problems getting along with other children, emotional/behavioral issues, and more. “You should limit your baby’s exposure,” Dr. Chadwick advises. Why? “In particular, they (babies) have more water (in their tissues). That makes them a bit better at absorbing radio waves. It only really applies to phones held close against the head or body, and not to base stations or Wi-Fi.”
Essentially, it’s OK to let your baby play with a cell phone (while supervised), but from a distance and to a limited degree. But the younger the child, the harder this will be to control, since they have less control over their motor skills.
Some tips from the National Center for Health Research in terms of protecting kids from radiation include:
- Turn airplane mode on when giving a child a technology device.
- Turn off wireless networks and devices to decrease your family’s radiation exposure whenever you aren’t actively using them. As an easy first step, turn your Wi-Fi router off at bedtime.
- Decrease use of phones or Wi-Fi where wireless coverage is difficult, in order to avoid an increase in radiation exposure.
- Use the speaker phone or a plug in earpiece when you use a cell phone. To protect children from radiation, they should not use cell phones except in emergency and should use the speaker phone.
- Increase the distance between you and your cell phone whenever it is on, to reduce your exposure to radiation emitted. For example, do not use a cell phone while a child is on your lap, and do not carry your cell phone in your baby carrier, crib, or pockets. When the phone is on, tell your kids to put it in a backpack as far from their body as possible (such as an outside pocket) or on the desk or other furniture at home, instead of holding it or carrying it in a pocket.
- Read the fine print: All device manufacturers advise that cell phones should be at least 5 millimeters, or about ¼ of an inch away from your body or brain. With the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s, the company advises users to keep the cell phone at least 10 millimeters, or about half an inch, away from your body or brain. See the safe distance for your phone. For iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, this is located under: Settings -> General -> About -> Legal -> RF Exposure.
Are you concerned about cell phone use and your child? Have you taken precautionary steps to reduce exposure?
For more information like this, please visit All My Children’s blogs.
By: Melissa A. Kay