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Restrict Screens, No Cell Phones and Minimize Wireless Radiation For Education During COVID-19 Quarantine: Russia Releases Recommendations for Children’s Protection

Mar 27, 2020

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The Scientific Research Institute of Hygiene and Children’s Health of the Russian Ministry of Health and the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RusCNIRP) Have Released New Recommendations for Children Regarding Screens During COVID-19 Quarantine 

See PDF of Letter in Russian 

Russia update: — The Russian government has announced a “high alert” status for all 85 of its regions, requiring the whole country to take anti-coronavirus measures such as banning large gatherings, moving schools to online classes and encouraging working from home. Moscow will enact an indefinite citywide quarantine starting March 30. According to the decree, Moscow residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to seek emergency medical care, shop for food or medicine, go to work, walk pets or take out the garbage. The self-isolation order will apply to all residents regardless of age. (Stay updated at Moscow Times.)

In response to the children now moving to online learning at home on computers, scientists from the Ministry of Health and the Russian National Committee for Protection Against Non-ionizing Radiation related these recommendations for children and screens.


Unofficial translation from Russian PDF

Digital Environment Security Distance Learning for Children Under 18

Recommendations of the Research Institute of Hygiene and Protection for Children’s Health, National̆ Medical Research Center Children’s Health̆  of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and the Russian National Committee for Protection Against Non-ionizing Radiation 

These conditions with temporary restrictions on school attendance are designed for children and their parents, for grandparents and all who help children study at home using digital technology during the forced restrictions on learning at school and other educational institutions.

 

  1. For work of children under 18 years old at home in the distance learning mode it is recommended to primarily use personal computers and laptops connected to the Internet via a wired network. Using wireless network distance from the WiFi point to the workplace should be not less than 5 meters.
  1. The keyboard of the computer (laptop) must be disinfected antiseptic daily before starting work. Monitor also needed treat with an antiseptic agent from the workplace.
  1. Before using the keyboard, you need to wash your hands as a child, so and an adult who helps him.
  1. To reduce the risk of visual impairment and musculoskeletal disorders systems must be provided working at the computer (laptop) child comfortable workplace (the height of the table and chair should correspond to the growth indicators of the child), exclude screen illumination monitor.
  1. The main source of light at the workplace of the child should be located side of the screen (not behind the screen and not from the back side of the screen). The brightness of the source should approximately correspond to the brightness screen.
  1. Using tablets for distance learning at home conditions permissible by adolescents over 15 years of age. Before use tablet, wash your hands and wipe the screen with a disinfectant means (wet towel). The location of the WiFi point should be on a distance of at least 5 m from the student’s workplace. The tablet is placed on table on a stand at an angle of 30 ° , the distance from the screen to the pupil’s eyes is not less than 50cm. It is necessary to exclude work with a laptop or tablet on knees, in hands, lying and the like.
  1. For all age groups up to 18 years, it is necessary to completely exclude the use of smartphones for educational purposes (reading, searching information).
  1. For all age categories for reading, completing tasks It is recommended to use mainly ordinary books, notebooks.
  1. Children under 6 years old must completely exclude the use of any computer equipment for educational purposes at home.
  1. Children aged 6 to 12 are advised to minimize the use of computer equipment for educational purposes at home conditions.

Total the duration of all types of on-screen activities for children of this age group should not exceed 2 hours per day (including viewing TV). 

The routine should be based on a one-to-three schedule for ages 6 to 8 years (for every 10 minutes of work 30 minutes of rest) and “One to two” for ages over 8 and up to 12 years (for every 10 minutes work – 20 minutes of rest).

  1. For children aged 12 to 18, the following regimen is recommended use of computer technology:  “one to two” for ages older 12 years and up to 15 years (for every 30 minutes of work – 60 minutes of rest) and “one to one ”for children over 15 years old and under 18 years old (for every 45 minutes of work – 45 minutes of rest). 

The total duration of all types of screen activities for children of this age group, including viewing TV should not exceed 3.5-4 hours per day.

  1. For the prevention of visual fatigue is necessary during the break perform gymnastics for the eyes, for the prevention of general fatigue – warm-up (bends, turns of the body, squats, etc.)
  1. If necessary to use headphones, limit continuous use to no more than an hour at a volume of not more than 60%.
  1. It is necessary to ventilate the room where classes are held before starting classes (at least 15 minutes) and after each hour of work.
  1. Do not use tablets and smartphones for educational purposes outside premises (in the park, on the playground and similar places).

 

Recommendations are based on data from a multicenter program of research to ensure children’s safĕ digital educational technologies of the Research Institute of Hygiene and Health children “NRC Children’s Health” and the Russian National Committee for Protection Against Non-ionizing Radiation, as well as using recommendations World Health Organization and world best practices for hygiene of the digital educational environment for children.

 

V.R. Kuchma

Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, multicenter program manager Research to Ensure Safe for Children’s Health̆ Digital Educational Technologies, Director of the Research Institute of Hygiene and Protection

Children’s Health FGAU “National̆ Medical Research Center Children’s Health̆ 

Ministry of Health, Russian Federation

 

O.A. Grigoryev

Doctor of Biological Sciences,

Chairman of the Russian National Committee for Protection Against Non-ionizing Radiation and member of the scientific advisory  Committee on Non-ionizing Radiation of the World Health Organization


In 2019,  the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection launched the call for for the release of new EMF hazard warning signs and stickers for mobile phones, wireless devices and other EMF sources. This action follows the release of a published paper by Professor Oleg Grigoriev and ex-deputy minister of communication, Dr Prof Yuri Zubarev. The paper was published in September, 2019 in the oldest Russian journal of the communications industry. News coverage such as “Due to low control over the safety of mobile phones, Russians risk their health” showcases the  warnings and public health opinions. 

Read more about the actions by Russia on wireless and cell phones here.

Watch a video of Professor Oleg Grigoriev at a Radiation Research Trust meeting in June 2015.

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