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Health Experts Warn Black Friday Shoppers About Children & Wireless Devices

Nov 21, 2019


Health Experts Warn Black Friday Shoppers About Wireless Devices for Kids with National #PracticeSafeTech Campaign

Washington, DC – Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, doctors and scientists warn parents about their children’s safety when choosing wireless holiday gifts. Leading think tank Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is promoting safer use of cell phones, laptops and tablets. EHT urges parents and grandparents not to buy their children holiday gifts that are so-called “smart” phones or “smart” watches or toys that use wireless in any way.  

Parents are encouraged to share the hashtag #PracticeSafeTech on social media to help spread the message of healthy use of wireless devices this holiday season. 

“Parents might be preparing to buy their child a smartphone, virtual reality headset, wearable fitness tracker or Wi-Fi toy yet are unaware that these devices expose their children to radiofrequency wireless radiation,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT. Scarato pointed out that the American Academy of Pediatrics is one of several medical organizations recommending parents minimize children’s wireless exposure. 

A 2015 survey four years ago found that on average American children get their first cellphone when they’re only 6 years old. A recent report from Common Sense says teens now spend more than six and a half hours per day on screens.

“The scientific evidence is now clear and compelling. We need to give our children toys and tools to grow and learn, not toys and tools which could harm them. The Cincinnati Children’s study found higher screen time associated with underdeveloped brain regions in preschoolers—the very parts of the brain that support language and literacy skills, imagery and executive function,” said Dr. Devra Davis, EHT President.  

“I spent my whole career in the technology sector. I’ve seen some tremendous benefits. I’ve also seen if not used properly technology can be harmful. I believe the way we deploy wireless devices today is harmful,” said Frank Clegg, former President of Microsoft Canada and CEO of Canadians For Safe Technology.  

“Young children learn and love best through face to face connections. We want to spread the message of healthy use of technology this holiday season,” stated Davis. EHT’s holiday campaign encourages parents to become informed about how to minimize children’s screen time and use technology in safer ways because published research associates wireless radiation exposure to memory damage, behavioral problems and cancer

EHT has developed Super-Smart and PracticeSafeTech Tips and factsheets for parents looking for common sense recommendations to navigate this holiday shopping season and ensure their children are safe and healthy.

Seven Super-Smart and PracticeSafeTech Tips for shoppers: 

  1. Infants need cuddles and laps (not iPads and Apps).
  2. Instead of screens, choose real books and imaginative hands-on toys for young children. Ideas include building materials and toys/dolls for creative play. 
  3. If technology is a must-have then 1. buy safer tech with wired capability (instead of wireless) and 2. always select Airplane/Flight Mode on a screen device before handing it to a child and 3. always place the device on a table (not lap). 
  4. Be aware of toys that expose your child to wireless radiation. 
  5. Cell phones are not safe for children and they are not toys. 
  6. Get serious about managing screen time for yourself and for your family.
  7. Spread awareness to your friends and family.

Holiday gifts that expose your children to wireless radiation: 

  • Cell phones and smartphones 
  • Smart watches 
  • Virtual reality headsets 
  • Wireless speakers, headsets or earpieces
  • Wi-Fi or cell phone connected dolls and stuffed animals 
  • Wi-Fi tablets 
  • Wireless gaming systems 
  • Smart televisions
  • Wirelessly-operated drones 
  • Virtual assistants 
  • Wearable tech like fitness trackers, sleep monitors, mood enhancers 

Environmental Health Trust Factsheets for Parents

Holiday Alert SmartPhones And Wi-Fi Toys

Epic Holiday Toy Recommendations 

Wi-Fi and Smartphone Factsheet

Family Factsheet Reducing Exposures at Home

Medical Recommendations and Scientific Imaging of Children and Wireless 

Compilation of Factsheets Online

Digital resources:   [that’s EPIC]


Holiday Alert Compilation 2019