The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has reiterated its stance that caregivers of children should strongly limit use of cell phones by both children and teens. Limiting cell phone usage may reduce the possibility of brain or heart tumors in growing children.
The recommendation is based on US National Toxicology Program findings of a rat study (released May, 2016) in which rats were exposed to radiofrequency radiation: RFR (the type found in cell phones) for nine hours a day for two years beginning in utero. They compared the radiation exposed rats to a control group which remained unexposed and found that ‘some of the male rats developed tumors in their hearts and brains while the control group did not.’
GSM and CDMA are the frequency bands and modulations primarily used for cell phones in the United States.
While exposure to the RFR is higher than it would be in most people the AAP feels confident that these findings suggest the need for reduction of cell phone exposure, particularly for the younger among us. When children are born their skull bones are much thinner than adult skull bones. Because of this children’s brains have less protection from cell phone radiation than adults do.
To help protect children from RFR the AAP recommends that children should use text messaging instead of phone calls when possible and only make short/essential calls on cellular phones. While making these short/essential calls children should use a handset or put the phone on speaker to maintain the actual cell phone an inch or more from their heads.
Other ways to reduce your children’s exposure to RFR include:
-use of landline phones
-Skype or Facetime or a similar app on the computer
-Make sure that there are full bars of signal strength when using the phone: the lower the signal strength the harder the phone has to work and the higher the RFR of the phone
-Avoid making calls in cars, elevators, trains and buses: the phone has to work harder to get a signal through the metal, increasing the RFR produced
-if using the phone to watch movies then download them to your device and set the phone on airplane mode to reduce radiation exposure
-Don’t allow your child to carry the cell phone next to their body (such as in their pocket or sock)
-“Remember that cell phones are not toys or teething items.”
Naturopathic physicians specialize in whole person healthcare and environmental wellness is a large part of that healthcare. Please click here to contact our office: start your family's path to greater lifelong wellness today!
Dr. Corinne Harpster is a naturopathic physician at SageMED in the Factoria area of Bellevue, she is currently taking new patients.