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Children and Cell Phones

Children and Cell Phones

Is your child spending long time on cell phone? If your answer is yes, then it is high time that you must change that habit. There are both health hazards as well as behavioural problems associated with the continued usage of Cell Phones.

Cell Phones work on Radio Frequencies. Mobile Towers and Mobile(Cellular) Phones emit radio waves, which is harmful to our health if we are exposed to it for a long time. A common side effect of magnetic fields as well as radio frequencies is head ache.

A study and investigation conducted by the Journal of American Medical Association revealed some health hazards related to cell phones.

Health Hazards

Non-Malignant Tumors: The continued use of Cell Phones could result in non-malignant tumors in the brain and ear.

Effect on the Brain: The penetration power of radio waves is very high and reach deep into the brain compared to the ears. Children exposed to these waves could be deprived of learning ability. They also could develop other behavioral problems like stubbornness, over-excitement etc.

Cancer: The brain’s thinner skin, tissues and bones in children absorb radiation twice compared to grown ups.

As per WHO, the cell phone radiation is “possibly carcinogenic” to humans. Carcinogenic means “having potential to cause cancer”. Other Carcinogens are like asbestos, nickel, cadmium, benzene etc. People who work with asbestos or spend more time under asbestos roof are at high risk of lung cancer.

A Journal published by Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers shows

1. A 5 year old with a skull thickness 1/2mm absorbs radiation at 4.49W/kg
2. A 10 year old with skull thickness 1mm absorbs at 3.21W/kg
3. An adult having skull thickness of 2mm absorbs at 2.93W/kg

So, the penetration is more at younger ages.

Apart from the above major health hazards, children who use cell phones excessively are prone to disturbed sleep pattern and other mental and medical issues.

Behavioural Problems

Children when addicted to cell phones, spend most of their time texting, chatting and phone calls with friends and/or strangers. With smart phones, it has become very easy to take photos and videos and then share with groups or other individuals. These could reach wrong hands and can be used for wrong deeds. When they are restricted from these activities, they tend to get wild and behave differently.

The personal contact is lost as we are getting more and more attached to the smart devices. Reading (books) habit has reduced in the younger generation. Face to face communication is becoming less with the growing number of chat platforms.

When children are allowed to take Mobile Phones with them to classes, chances are there that they chat and/or send pictures during the class hours. This is academically very bad to the child that he/she may not understand what is taught in the class and thus fall behind fellow students.

Safety Tips

1. Allow children to use a cell phone only if it necessary or at least minimize the usage
2. To reduce the chances of exposure to radio waves, keep the mobile phones away from the bed.
3. When the signal from the tower is weak, the cell phones will increase their power to the maximum while attempting to connect with another tower.
4. Avoid using the Cell Phones while traveling in a bus, car, train and elevator as the signal will be very weak and thus increasing the power level
5. Instead of using a cell phone directly, let the children use with a headset which will increase the distance of the phone from the brain

A pregnant mother must also observe these tips. She must not keep the cell phone on her belly (when using headset) whether or not in operation to protect the baby from any possible radiation.

Picture used for illustration only. Courtesy: Google Images

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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