These gadgets have become an essential part of people’s daily lives in modern life, but are cell phones bad for babies and children? Find out what research points to on this subject.
Cell phones that today are known as “ smartphones” were designed to make people’s lives easier and that’s why they are with
them wherever they go and are increasingly present among babies and children.
With that in mind, apps and videos aimed at children are released every day, as they have become a form of entertainment
for children and babies and that often facilitate the routine of parents.
Nowadays there are apps for everything from apps that help us drink water to apps that are an alternative to birth control ,
but it has been proven that they can affect the health of adults, from disrupting sleep to accelerating blindness .
But if it can be harmful to adults, the big question is what are its effects on the health of babies and children?
Increasing public concern about the possible health effects of these devices in relation to exposure of babies
whose skulls are thin and incomplete and whose brains are still rapidly developing is increasing.
This is especially true when it comes to neurological effects, cancer, developmental disability effects, etc. And
the big problem is that this concern is real, cell phone is bad for babies and children.
Children face health risks due to the use of cell phones
The potential harm caused by microwave radiation (MWR) emitted by wireless devices, particularly to
infants, toddlers and babies in their mothers’ bellies, is highlighted by new studies.
Although some data are conflicting, links between these MWR waves and cancer have been observed.
The review by L. Lloyd Morgan, Senior Research Scientist at Environmental Health Trust and his colleagues,
is published online in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure.
The authors reviewed the current literature showing that children face a greater health risk than adults.
They analyzed and reviewed studies related to cell phone exposure, along with cell phone radiation data,
government documents, manufacturer manuals, and similar publications.
According to Morgan and colleagues, children and unborn babies face an increased risk of bodily harm
from MWR emitted by wireless devices.
The rate of absorption of these waves is higher in infants and children than in adults because their brain tissues
are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner, and their relative size is smaller.
Experts have reported that fetuses are particularly vulnerable because exposure to MWR can lead to degeneration
of the protective layer that surrounds brain neurons.
Several studies have shown that a child absorbs more MWR than an adult person, with infant brain tissue absorbing
about twice as much MWR as an adult.
Cell Phone Radiation and the Growth of Tumors
A study conducted by the United States government with scientists from the National Health Program studied the
effects of cell phone radiation on rats and mice.
According to this landmark study, scientists found a direct correlation between cell phone radiation and tumor growth.
The report indicates that the rats and mice were exposed to the same level of radiation that people are normally exposed
to on a daily basis.
For this study, rats and mice were exposed to frequencies and modulations currently used in cellular communications
in the United States. The rodents were exposed every 10 minutes, totaling just over 9 hours a day, from birth to 2 years
of age as a result, a low incidence of brain and heart tumors was found in male rats, but not in females. However, this
study is still being carried out to obtain more answers.
The result of the research indicates an increase in tumors in the brain and heart of male animals, and as David Carpenter,
director of the Institute of Health and Environment at the University of Albany, United States, said, this means that people
should be concerned about this result.
It turns out that there is a correlation between low-level exposure and tumors in animals, and some scientists believe there
is no safe level of radiation for a baby or child.
Possible human carcinogen
To understand the health effects of radiation, we must first examine how cell phones work.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cell phones and cordless phones use radio frequency
(RF) radiation to send signals.
RF is different from other types of radiation, such as X-rays, which are already known to be harmful, but whether this
radiation can cause future health problems is still unclear.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified RF radiation as a “possible human carcinogen”,
that is, an agent that causes cancer.
In order for them to be “mobile” – portable, cell phones are equipped with small antennas that send signals to cell towers
in the area to make it possible to send and receive data.
All this goes back and forth, consumes energy, and all that energy emits radiation.
Some reports indicate that the “safe level” of cell phone radiation was modeled on a 200-pound adult male in the 1980s
rather than a child with a developing skull.
Others say the new safety tests have already included safety factors to cover children, even small ones.
These invisible waves are absorbed by everything around the source, in this case the cell device, including the human body,
and the possible side effects of this exposure include: brain tumors, headaches, fatigue, increased heart rate and other types.
Cell phone care, babies and children
Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD in Health, highlights the need to take all precautions when it comes to cell phones, babies
A surprising Swedish study showed that younger people are five times more likely to have brain tumors if they use a cell
phone before age 20.
Other research has found that a cell phone call lasting just two minutes can produce brain hyperactivity that lasts an hour
New research by the European Journal Oncology reported that cordless phones emit dangerous radiation that can
nearly double heart rate variability and affect the autonomic nervous system causing anxiety, fatigue, changes in blood
pressure, dizziness or fainting, and sleep disturbances.
The article explains why children are at a greater risk than adults when it comes to radiation emitted by cell phones.
Children and babies are most at risk from being exposed to cell phone
According to the researchers, the problem is that children’s brains absorb twice as much radiation from these phones
as adults, not only do young people have thinner skulls and smaller heads than adults, but their brains also continue
to develop during childhood and adolescence only increasing the risk.
David Carpenten, dean of the SUNY School of Public Health, University in New York, United States said that as
children are spending significant time on cell phones “we may be facing a public health crisis and an epidemic of
In addition to brain tumors, research suggests that in children these devices can lead to hearing loss.
Radiation researcher Kerry Crofton, PhD, added that “according to current knowledge, the interaction with fertility,
immune capacity, DNA breakdown or learning and intelligence will be far more dangerous than extra cases of cancer.”
That’s why a growing number of countries are banning or discouraging the use of cell phones for those under 18.
Camilla Rees, who serves on the Maine Health and Human Services Committee, United States, said: “It is possible
that society may look at the uncontrolled proliferation of cell phones that emit radiation as a crime against even humanity.
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) changed the classification of cell phone radiation to a possible
human carcinogen. Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the
human body, at the frequencies used by cell phones, most of the energy is absorbed by the skin and other surface
tissues, resulting in a negligible increase in temperature in the brain. or in any other organ of the body.
You should limit your baby’s or child’s cell phone exposure
Dr Philip Chadwick, Chairman of the European Committee on Safety on electromagnetic fields said that there are
limits to safety.he explained that “the devices already contain an extra precautionary factor that takes into account
individuals sensitive to the particularity and are adapted to take into account the different body sizes of children”.
The expert continues: “That said, I see no point in allowing a young child to use a cell phone except in an emergency; so
if anyone is worried, that’s something they can control.”
As mentioned earlier, the reason the safety limits have been adapted for use by children and babies is because their fabrics
are different from those of adults.
Dr. Chadwick explained: “In particular, they have more water. This makes them a little better at absorbing radio waves.
On the other hand, they are smaller and that doesn’t make them good at absorbing these waves.”
Dr. also points out that the guidelines apply to children as young as three years of age.
“When they are old enough to walk and talk easily at the same time, they will not be materially different from adults in
this respect. This also only applies to phones held close to the head or body, not to base stations or WiFi.”
He also urges parents not to be unduly panicked about cell phone exposure.
“Safety testing done for phones has already included safety factors to cover children, even small ones, and we know that
children are fully protected in terms of meeting the safety limits of these devices.”
But parents should also take into account that significant exposure decreases with distance and only happens if the
phone is close to the baby’s body.
“So the most effective thing to do if someone is worried is to not let the child make calls or play with the phone.”
Safe cell phone use for babies and children
Wireless devices are already part of people’s everyday lives “but they can be used in a way that is sufficiently secure,”
said researcher Morgan, who along with his colleagues made some recommendations.
The first is that both children, babies and adults should hold the cell phone 15 cm away from the ear, as this provides
a 10,000 times reduction in risk.
Unless the cell phone is turned off, it is always radiating. When it is not in use, it should not be kept on the body. The
best place for a cell phone is something like a purse or backpack.
The devices should be kept away from a pregnant woman’s abdomen and the mother should not use it while breastfeeding,
just as baby monitors should not be placed in a baby’s crib.
Children and teens need to know how to use these devices safely. These devices should not be allowed inside children’s
rooms at night, according to the expert.
The Pew Research Center reported that 75% of tweens and teens sleep through the night with their cell phone under
“Boys shouldn’t keep cell phones in their front pants pockets,” Morgan said. This causes potential harm to sperm although
no studies in boys have determined whether or not the early approach to MWR affects sperm,” Morgan said.
He goes on to say that “girls shouldn’t put their cell phones in their bras.” This recommendation was based on a
case study of four young women with a history of putting phones in their bra and who developed breast cancer – two at age 21.
According to Morgan, the more hours of use, the more radiation the body absorbs and the greater the risk, so children
should be taught to use these devices as little as possible.
Landline phones, Skype and computer phone services when connected to the internet by cable do not emit radiation
and so parents should encourage their children to use them.
Finally, WiFi routers present at home should be placed away from the places where people, especially children, spend
most of their time.
The authors of the research conducted by Morgan note that some studies have shown an increased risk of cancer
with cell phone use, although some of this data has been disputed.
In recent years, rates of glioblastoma (a type of brain tumor) have increased in Denmark and the United States,
and the incidence of brain cancer in Australia, according to data extracted from cancer registries.
The average time between exposure to a carcinogen and diagnosis of a resulting solid tumor is 3 or more decades,
so it will likely be several decades before tumors induced by childhood MWR exposure are diagnosed, the
Therefore, research indicates that the cell phone is bad for babies and children, although more studies are needed,
however, the best thing to do is to avoid and control the use of this device.