New recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), are calling on parents to limit their children’s usage of electronic devices. EHT applauds AAP recommendations urging parents to ban electronic media during mealtimes and after bedtime as part of a comprehensive “family media use plan.” The influential new guidelines recognize the need to protect the young brain from round-the-clock use of digital devices and electronic media, which includes everything from television to texting and other social and anti-social activities.
Under the AAP power down policy: children should limit screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day; children younger than 2 shouldn’t have any TV or Internet exposure. Also, televisions and Internet-accessible devices should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms. According to EHT’s founder, Dr. Devra Davis, parents should also set family rules covering the use of cellphones and texting. “Many parents do not realize that tablets, mobile phones, laptops and other wireless gear send and receive microwave radiation, unless they are set on airplane mode or disconnected from the internet or wifi systems. We protect our children’s brains when they ride in cars or on bikes. We also need to protect their rapidly growing brains from wireless radiation.”
A new report from Common Sense Media, a child-advocacy group based in San Francisco, found that 17% of children 8 and younger use mobile devices daily, up from 8% in 2011. “You would not hand your child a cigar or a martini. You should not give them a two-way microwave radiating device that has never been tested for safety,“ warns Dr. Davis.
Thea Scarato, a concerned mother of 2 children in elementary school, voiced her concerns about how radiofrequency exposure affects her family, “If the World Health Organization and doctors from around the world have concerns, then I do too. If the World Health Organization is calling this radiation a possible carcinogen and has a mile-long research agenda for it then I, as a parent, have a right to know this because I do not want my children to be part of a grand experiment. Who is responsible for policing the Industry? As a sensible mom I teach my kids to use seatbelts, look both ways before crossing the street and find vegetables they like to eat. If the brains of rats and bunnies are being damaged by this radiation then we must take notice. Precautions make sense to me.”
Professor Hugh Taylor, Chairman of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Yale Medical School agreed, “As a research scientist and physician who studies how microwave radiation affects the outcomes of pregnancy, I am deeply concerned about growing exposures to cell phone and other wireless radiation. As a father, I applaud the AAP for advising families to come up with their own media plans to set limits on the uses of these devices in the home.”
EHT urges parents to make sure they read the cellphone/tablet/devices safety manuals to find the minimum distance that the device must be kept away whenever it is in use and also when it is in stand-by mode. Keeping it closer than the designated distance can result in a violation of the FCC Exposure Limit. “Whenever you must give your child a device to play with, keep it on airplane mode. It’s important to safeguard your children during the two hours allotted for play with these devices. The goal is to protect our children’s growing brains and bodies from harm,” advises Dr. Davis.