Children today are conceived and live in a sea of wireless radiation that did not exist when their parents were born. The launch of the digital age continues to transform the capacity to respond to emergencies and extend global communications. At the same time that this increasingly ubiquitous technology continues to alter the nature of commerce, medicine, transport and modern life overall, its varied and changing forms have not been evaluated for their biological or environmental impacts. Standards for evaluating radiation from numerous wireless devices were first set in 1996 to avoid heating tissue and remain unchanged since then in the U.S. and many other nations. A wide range of evidence indicates that there are numerous non-thermal effects from wireless radiation on reproduction, development, and chronic illness. Many widely used devices such as phones and tablets function as two-way microwave radios, sending and receiving various frequencies of information-carrying microwave radiation on multiple simultaneously operating antennas. Expert groups advising governments on this matter do not agree on the best approaches to be taken. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limited screen time for children under the age of two, but more than half of all toddlers regularly have contact with screens, often without parental engagement. Young children of parents who frequently use devices as a form of childcare can experience delays in speech acquisition and bonding, while older children report feelings of disappointment due to ‘technoference’—parental distraction due to technology. Children who begin using devices early in life can become socially, psychologically and physically addicted to the technology and experience withdrawal upon cessation. We review relevant experimental, epidemiological and clinical evidence on biological and other impacts of currently used wireless technology, including advice to include key questions at pediatric wellness checkups from infancy to young adulthood. We conclude that consistent with advice in pediatric radiology, an approach that recommends that microwave radiation exposures be As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) seems sensible and prudent, and that an independently-funded training, research and monitoring program should be carried out on the long term physical and psychological impacts of rapidly changing technological milieu, including ways to mitigate impacts through modifications in hardware and software. Current knowledge of electrohypersensitivity indicates the importance of reducing wireless exposures especially in schools and health care settings.
|Journal||Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care|
|State||Published - Feb 2023|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health