Z7JZHUSG2RUX It is a natural instinct for parents to want to keep their children healthy and safe. Decades ago this was achieved by mom and dad keeping a close watch on their child, teaching him or her to not talk to strangers, calling a child in from the rain when there was lightning outside and other protective measures. Though often met with an “aw, Mom” when playtime was interrupted during a thunderstorm, children learned valuable lessons in safety from loving parental interventions like these.
Today, however, technological and scientific advancements are producing products used by both children and adults at alarming rates. It seems that virtually overnight, the entire world went wireless. WIFI, cell phones, laptops, electronic toys – everywhere you look, people of all ages are hooked up to, at a very minimum, one wireless device in their home, office or even at school. But are they safe?
Studies take time and we’re the Guinea Pigs
Unfortunately there are no definitive answers for one very good reason – long term studies take time to show results. These products haven’t been around long enough to see what happens far in the future, all the while filling our air with electromagnetic frequency (EMF) everywhere we go. Though many adults love the convenience of these technological gadgets, to be fair these products were quite pushed on society. Try taking a new job and asking for a corded phone and typewriter in lieu of a cell phone and laptop! Businesses everywhere began going wireless including schools, restaurants – virtually anywhere you went, there were few options in mainstream society but to join the herd.
One item children seem to use more than anything else is the cell phone. Some parents are giving children cell phones when they are young, for emergencies. Teenagers are texting day and night. Even many families, to save money, have done away with their normal land line in exchange for getting cell phones for everyone in their home. This means everytime a child calls grandma and grandpa, a cell phone will be the child’s only option. Though children are exposed to many wireless products whose safety still remains in question, the cell phone concerns many parents because it is used so frequently.
Studies conducted so far
So here are some things we do know concerning cell phones, which parents can use to draw their own conclusions. In May 2011, the World Health Organization announced that cell phones might be carcinogenic to people. Might is not the term we want to hear when it comes to a device that such a large number of children and adults use day and night, every single day. However, that WHO made such a declaration is deserving of attention. Also, all cell phones give off radiation to some degree.
Though you can find debate on both sides of the fence, there have been recent studies concerning children’s risks with these devices. Children exposed to the EMFs absorb alarming amounts more of this radiation in their heads, eyes and bone marrow because their immune systems and skulls aren’t fully developed yet, not providing an adequate barrier. In addition, childhood cancer has risen substantially since 1975, including brain cancer.
So what can parents do?
So what do concerned parents do with this information? The most important skill a parent can ever learn is to think for him or herself. Research both sides of the discussion, take notes, join forums and then make an informed decision. Asking a neighbor, co-worker or your cell phone provider will not provide you with the unbiased data you need. It would be a good idea to research EMFs in general, because children and parents are exposed to the wireless world each day – even beyond cell phones. Once you inform yourself, you can make an educated decision as to what is best for your entire family. One tip, however, is to avoid the “everyone is doing it” trap. Many products throughout history were only deemed unsafe decades later – too late for many unfortunate people.
In the meantime, there are things you can do to reduce exposure to children (and yourself) while doing your research, such as:
Read the fine print on your cell phone – they have recommendations to keep them a certain distance from your head when you speak on them. You should find a cell phone with the lowest radiation rating available because they all vary.
Be sure to have a phone with a cord in your home for normal phone calls (cordless phones have similar EMF concerns, so have a dedicated corded phone in the house for children to use for normal calls).
Teach your child to store a cell phone far away from the body. It isn’t just the head that you should concern yourself with. It shouldn’t be in pockets and in constant contact with the body all day long.
When a child needs to talk on the cell phone, encourage using the speaker and lying the phone down, away from the child. In general, however, limit cell phone use as much as possible.
Following these tips will help you take a proactive approach to finding the right solution for you and your children. Fear can be paralyzing whereas becoming informed, is liberating.