We’re now into the middle of summer! It’s hot and the kids are probably begging to stay indoors. Unless you have constructive activities or projects planned for them, your children are going to gravitate to their electronic devices and phones. And while that’s not entirely unacceptable, prolonged exposure to electronic devices may have long term consequences.
If you’re worried about the risk of cell phone radiation for your kids, you’re not alone. Dr. Olga Naidenko, Senior Science Advisor for Children’s Enviromental Health, offers her assessment of the potential risks of radiofrequency radiation and how you might be able to minimize these risks.
Yet Another Reason for Your Kids to Unplug? The Risk of Cell Phone Radiation
Most Americans, including children, use electronic devices like cellphones, tablets and smartwatches, for hours every day – and many have developed symptoms that look like addictive behavior. In 2017, children ages 8 and younger spent, on average, 48 minutes on mobile devices daily, and 42 percent of children 8 and younger have their own tablet devices, according to Common Sense Media.
But frequent use of electronic devices may pose health risks beyond addiction.
So far, the issue of children’s exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices has been missing from the debate about children’s screen time. Research from the National Toxicology Program reveals troubling evidence that cellphone radiation could cause brain and heart cancer.
Scientists exposed laboratory animals to radiofrequency radiation at levels similar to and higher than those emitted by cellphones. The exposed animals showed a greater likelihood of developing malignant glioma, a type of brain cancer, as well as heart tumors, compared to unexposed animals. Although this study tested radiation effects on animals, it offers valuable insight into the potential risk to people, including future exposure to 5G wireless networks.
Some Guidelines to Follow
Limit children’s exposure to radiofrequency wireless devices:
- Limit their use of the phone as a toy.
- If your kids use your phone to play games, use airplane mode, so the phone does not emit radiofrequency radiation.
- Make sure to turn off wireless devices at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime, and that TVs, computers and other electronic devices not be allowed in children’s bedrooms.
- Keep the Wi-Fi router away from children’s bedrooms. Some experts recommend turning the router off at night, to decrease the radiofrequency radiation levels in your home.
Teach older children safe digital device habits like:
- Using a headset or speaker while talking on the cellphone, rather than holding it directly to your ear.
- Keeping the phone, tablet or other wireless device away from the body – for example, on a table instead of a pocket.
- At night, storing the wireless devices away from the body – never under the pillow or in bed.
To learn more, visit EWG’s Guide to Safer Cellphone UseOlga Naidenko, PhD
Visit Sun Pediatrics in Marietta
Worried about the risk of cell phone radiation for your kids? Get more advice and guidance from Dr. Hari of Sun Pediatrics. Dr. Hari is highly recommended by parents in Cobb County, Marietta, Mableton, Smyrna and Vinings. Call today to schedule an appointment and consultation.