Wifi and Your Kids
Do you ever see a teen these days that doesn’t have a cell phone in their hand or pocket? And when they are at home do they more often than not have a wireless game controller in their lap? Besides the sad fact that they could be interacting face to face socially or spending time in the fresh air, they are also being exposed to exponentially more Electromagnetic Field (EMF) pollution at alarming rates. Studies now prove the real health problems this exposure can cause. In January 2015, Forbes magazine published a report called Wi-Fi Exposure More Dangerous to Kids Then Previously Thought exposing the fact that the World Health Organization was classifying cellphones as Class 2B Carcinogens.
According to the United Nations, there are an estimated 6 billion people out of the total world’s population of 7 billion have access to cell phones. That’s more people with cell phones than there are with working toilets. If there is a danger from cell phone radiation, it is extremely important to protect ourselves and our kids from harm.
The average age of phone use keeps going down. It isn’t unusual to see a toddler playing a game on their parent’s cell phone. It is estimated that 13% of 3 year olds have used a mobile phone, rising to 23% of 3-6 year-olds, 50% of 5-9 year-olds, and by 7th grade 97% of children have their own mobile phone.
But mobile phones are not the only emitters of EMF radiation. There are tons of other sources of EMFs in our homes and schools. There is almost constant exposure via WiFi routers, laptops and PCs, game consoles, transformers, smart meters and microwaves that increase the ongoing EMF risks. There are also external sources including TV, radio and cell towers as well as high voltage power lines. These have all been linked to increased cancer risks. EMFs are a form of energy. You can’t see them or smell them but they are everywhere.
Many mobile devices come with manufacturers’ fine print warnings not to hold them next to an adult body. All safety warnings for mobile phones (e.g., “keep 0.98 inches from the body”) were never designed with kids in mind. They were developed over 30 years ago in order to protect a large adult male who talks on his phone for less than 30 minutes per day. Tablets contain 4 or more microwave radiating antennas that are never to be held directly on the body. Your kid’s head absorbs twice as much microwave radiation from mobile phones as an adult’s heads. The same goes for a tablet or mobile device set on their lap. What can this radiation do to a child? Radiation and EMF exposure can lead to fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbance, DNA damage, impaired nervous system activity, low sperm count and infertility (remember, where does a laptop or tablet sit when on the lap?!), impaired motor skills in children, memory loss, and cancer. (HomeMadeMommy.com)
Kids at Greater Risk
Children are at a higher risk because they absorb more EMF radiation than adults. This is partly due to the higher water content in their bodies making them more conductive to the radiation. Kids also have thinner skulls with brains that are still developing and other systems such as their immune and nervous systems with rapid growth happening. These increased risk factors and the mounting almost constant exposures will be taking a toll on this generation. After 20-40 years of exposure the negative health effects will likely be very serious.
Simple Things You Can Do
- Education is key. Help kids to be aware of the dangers. Show them the actual studies and statistics.
- Texting is safer than talking. Not having the phone against your ear will reduce the exposure. While texting don’t have the phone on your lap or touching your body. It is best to have it sitting on a hard surface such as a table or desk between you and the phone. Longer than a minute or two conversation is best done over speaker phone with a distance between the phone and your body. Even better is to use a specially made protection pad such as the DefenderPad or Vortex Shield. It is made to block, divert and absorbs EMFs.
- Don’t use your cellphone near your child. Cellphones emit Radio Frequency whenever they are powered on, even when it is not in use. The phone attempts to connect at full strength with the nearest base station to maintain the connection. If it is in a poor signal area, it repeats this process every 30-60 seconds, trying to get a better signal. This adds risk due to increased exposure.
- Cordless phones use EMFs to communicate between the handset and the base station, just like cellphones. The base unit is constantly flooding your home with EMF radiation. If you do have a cordless phone, make sure the base is nowhere near your child’s bedroom. The base works a like mini cellphone tower, so try to keep it away from your children as much as possible. Better still get rid of the cordless phone and install a good old fashion corded phone (vintage is in) or a phone that has an eco-setting and only emits when in use and not on standby.
- WiFi is probably the greatest contributor to your child’s EMF exposure. WiFi also emits the same kind of radiation as cellphones. With Wi-Fi the radiation is continuously emitted. Measurements have shown that Wi-Fi radiation can be three times stronger than EMF radiation from a cellphone tower. If you have a wireless network in your home, replace it with hardwiring (dLAN). If you’re unable to get rid of the wireless router, place it away from main living areas. Make sure it’s not next to or even just below your child’s bedroom since WiFi unfortunately penetrates walls. When you’re not using the wireless network, turn it off! Your children could also be exposed to WiFi radiation in their schools. “EMF aware schools” are now removing WiFi networks from their school grounds. If your child is in a school that has a wireless network, petition the schools to move to hardwiring.
- Video Game Consoles often come with wireless controllers that are a source of EMF radiation exposure. Wireless game controllers use WiFi or Bluetooth technology in their operation and generate both WiFi and Bluetooth radiation. Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii uses EMFs to communicate between the controller and the main console. For the Sony PlayStation 3 consider using the wired controllers instead of the wireless. For those games where wired controls are not available at least switch off the console when you are not using it.
Babies and EMFs
While EMFs are dangerous for adults, they can be life threatening for babies. Babies’ skulls are still developing and are much thinner than skulls of older children and adults. Radiation can penetrate deep into the brain with even small exposures. Experts attribute the rise in autism and brain tumors in children to EMF exposure. Babies are in rapid growth mode. This means their cells are dividing continuously. Radiation can cause mutations (also known as cancer).
EMF exposure weakens the immune system. Baby’s immune systems are not yet completely developed. No wonder babies are so susceptible to colds and infections. Expose them to EMFs and there weak immune systems become even more susceptible to bacteria, viruses or fungi. Consider ditching the baby monitor as babies who sleep near one are being exposed to dangerous microwave radiation. Digital wireless baby monitors emit pulses of electromagnetic radiation directly into your baby’s bedroom even when they are not making any noise. It is recommended that you use analogue baby monitors in the 35 to 50 MHz range. Another safe option is to use a webcam linked via a hardwire. Also be aware that the baby monitor mats that check temperature, heartbeat and breathing should only be used for serious medical reasons. When used with a wireless baby alarm they carry high levels of microwave radiation right into the crib. Do not have your WiFi, your cordless phone base or your cellphone close to where your baby sleeps or plays.
There are now numerous studies exposing the dangers of EMF radiation. Education and action can help decrease the risk of these exposures. Be aware and take the next right step. As I always say as a mom, it’s better safe than sorry!
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World Health Organization http://www.who.int/peh-emf/research/children/en/
2,300 studies by the US Navy showing biological impacts of EMF: Naval Medical Research Institute 2300 Studies on EMF Health Effects
2015 study showing 2.4 GHz WiFi decreases sperm function. Researchers conclude that “there should be major concern regarding the exposure to Wi-Fi networks existing in the vicinity of our living places.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4503846/
Comprehensive German data bank of global EMF research showing biological effects of RF/EMF: http://www.emf-portal.de
2015 study showing that 2.4 GHz WiFi may be accepted as one of the major risk factors for brain tumors and other neurodegenerative diseases: Effects of 2.4 GHz WiFi on microRNA Brain Tissue