Kids and Technology
Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, wearable tech and gaming devices all have something in common; they’re all connected wirelessly to either a nearby WiFi router or a nearby cell tower. When your child is holding a wireless device in their hands or to their head they are exposed to high frequency electromagnetic fields, known as EMF or EMR (electromagnetic radiation).
EMFS are classified as 'possibly carcinogenic'
In 2011, the World Health Organisation categorised EMFs as ‘possibly carcinogenic’ to humans and there have been numerous studies and articles advising that we take a precautionary approach to EMFs, especially when it comes to our children and mobile phones. Children's brains are still developing, their skulls are softer and thinner than an adult's skull and they have more fluid content than an adult so the radiation is absorbed more deeply in children's brains.
Our children will be the first generation to grow up with lifetime exposure to EMF-emitting smart devices and, as such, it is important that we teach them safe technology habits from an early age. A few small habit changes can go a long way to reducing their exposure to EMF and here are some easy ones to implement straight away:
Make bedrooms a tech-free zone
Remove all technology from their bedroom to reduce EMF exposure from smart devices while they are asleep. You may wish to set up a landing station away from bedrooms where all family members must leave their powered-off phones for the night. Often people keep their mobile phone in the bedroom to use as an alarm clock. If this is the case, ensure the phone is switched to airplane or flight mode (or even better, treat them to an old-fashioned alarm clock)
Put your WiFi router on a timer
Switch your WiFi router off for the whole house at night and when not needed during the day. Follow the instructions for your individual model or simply use a Christmas light timer which will switch off the power to the WiFi router at the same time every night and turn it back on again when needed in the morning. This will dramatically help to reduce EMF exposure for the whole family
Download rather than stream
Download movies, games and music onto a phone or tablet away from your children and only allow them to watch, play or listen once it has been downloaded onto the device, rather than streaming. This way you can turn the device on to airplane or flight mode which is a much safer way for your kids to use the technology.
Say no to wearable tech
Avoid giving your kids wearable tech that is constantly connected to WiFi/4G. If they must wear it, teach them how to turn it onto airplane mode when wireless connectivity is not needed (during class time for instance)
Swap wireless for wired
On your larger devices such as the home computer and laptop, where kids might spend a lot of time doing homework, consider using an ethernet cable rather than using WiFi. It’s a really easy swap.
Teach them that distance is key
Distance is the key to reducing exposure to EMR. Encourage your children to text rather than hold a mobile phone to their head. When talking on the phone is necessary use the speaker function or an AirTube headset. These headsets dramatically reduce the amount of radiation travelling from the phone to the ear as they carry sound via a hollow tube of air rather than a wire. They're also great for listening to music.
Consider anti-radiation protection