Protect your kids from mobile radiation
Anything using a Wi-Fi or cell signal emits some amount of radiation in the form of radiofrequency energy, including cellphones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, and smartwatches. The amount of radiation depends on the device and the strength of the signal. Research from the National Toxicology Program found that lab animals exposed to radiofrequency radiation at levels similar to those emitted by cellphones had a greater likelihood of developing brain cancer and heart tumours.
While we are all at potential risk from this radiation, children are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller bodies and thinner skulls. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of radiation those devices give off and how much your kid is directly exposed to.
1. Don’t put devices on your child’s lap
Make space between the device and your kid’s body. Even a few inches make a big difference. Instead, put the device on a portable lap desk or table to keep it from resting on your child’s body.
2. Keep devices in airplane mode
This is especially important when the signal is weak or when you’re moving–like in a car or train. The harder a device has to work to find a tower, the more radiation it releases. So, as you’re travelling, cellphones and tablets are working extra hard to connect with towers along the way, and your kids are getting a bigger dose of radiation. When they’re in airplane mode, devices don’t send or search for a signal and therefore don’t emit radiation.
In order for apps and videos to work while on airplane mode, download videos that they may watch in advance through apps such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video.
3. Always use headphones or speaker mode for calls
Cellphones emit their highest radiation levels during phone calls, and that level goes up even more when the signal is weak or moving. Teach kids to use headphones or speaker mode every time they make a call (and put the phone somewhere away from their bodies while they talk).
4. Don’t let kids sleep with their devices
Kids shouldn’t sleep next to their devices, and especially not with them under their pillow. Even when they’re not being used, cellphones emit a small amount of radiation, and small amounts can add up to big risk for developing bodies. Plus, there’s lots of research which shows that heavy device use, especially right before bed, messes with our circadian rhythms and ability to fall asleep.
The closer the source of radiation, the more kids will absorb. So, many experts recommend placing the Wi-Fi router in an area of the house where people spend fairly little time, rather than near bedrooms or living rooms.