“Mummy take me!” My daughter pleads as I raise the mirror to take a look at what my hairdresser is doing.
“Mummy meee!” Her brother pulls down my hand in order to bring the mirror to his level.
I am wondering why all these fuss about a mirror.
Then it dawns on me! And I laugh. These digital age kids think I am holding a tab! No thanks to their to their not-so-fashionable mom who hasn’t a hand mirror in her possession.
“This is a mirror. It’s not a tablet”, I explain.
They look crest-fallen. I decide to play along.
“Ok. Lets take a selfie!” Their faces brighten up. I take a shot with the help of my phone. This is the result our “selfie” on the mirror!
Talking about tablets… These days, our kids are using more of it than ever before.
We often use it to keep them engaged while we are busy driving or working, etc. The same with smartphones.
But are we taking precautions?
Increasing evidence suggests that wireless devices like tabs and smartphones may pose health hazards. In 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified RF energy radiated by these devices as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” And a recent Swedish study published in Pathophysiology found that using a cell phone, especially before age 20, raised the risk of a certain type of brain tumor over time.
Kids are the most vulnerable to RF effects because their body is still developing. “Children have a thinner skull, so the radiation penetrates much deeper,” says Devra Davis, Ph.D., founder and president of the nonprofit Environmental Health Trust. When a kid holds a cell phone against her ear, she can absorb up to ten times more RF energy than an adult can, according to a study review in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure.
So do we stop our kids from handling our devices? Not really
Here’s what you can do:
- Switch to airplane mode.
If your kid wants to watch a video, download it to your device first and hen select this mode.
2. Practice safe phoning
When Grandma calls to chat with your child, plug in the earphones that came with your phone first. This puts critical distance between the cell and your child’s head. Even a few inches of separation greatly reduces a child’s exposure to RF energy.
3.Don’t buy him a smartphone (yet).
A child’s skull isn’t as thick as an adult’s until around age 15. Limiting his access until age 12 will reduce his radiation risk in the critical early years. By then he should be mature enough to understand how important it is to use headphones when he calls friends — and he’ll probably mostly text anyway, which is safer (since the phone isn’t near his head). Avoid letting him keep the device in his pocket; this can increase his exposure to radiation. A backpack is a better spot — it puts a layer between your kid and his cell.
See your wireless device (smartphones, tablets) as a radiation emitting device similar to X-rays. Take the necessary precautions
To the health of our kids and ours!
I remain Aunty Pharmacist.