Cancer and Cell Phone Use

Delana H. Stewart

In the doctor’s office a year and a half ago I read “Wake-up Call”–an article in Parenting Early Years magazine (May 2011)—which discussed the risks of cancer to toddlers and teens caused by cell phone usage. They cited a study done in 2008 in Sweden which stated that children and teens were five times more likely to get brain cancer if using cell phones regularly. Other articles raise concern about cell phone usage by pregnant women and the link to behavioral issues and ADHD.

This information alarmed me, so I came home and did a little research. If you are concerned with how cell phone usage might be affecting your children, you may want to check out a few of these links. Even though research is still inconclusive, you may also want to take some of these precautions:

1)      Do not talk on the cell phone or text with the cell phone while nursing a baby or holding your toddler.

2)      Have your child use a speaker phone or head set. (Or, better yet, have them use a traditional phone.)

3)      Do not let your toddler play games/apps on your cell phone.

4)      Place limits on how often/how long your child or teen may be on the cell phone.

Here are some articles on the web where you can read more:

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/news/News/more-research-on-cell-phone-safety-needed-experts-say (American Cancer Society)

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones (Very informative article by the National Cancer Institute with bullet points about why there is a concern, what you can do, and what research has been done and is being done.)

http://test.beperkdestraling.org/Studies%20en%20Rapporten/Prenatal%20Postnatal%20Exposure%20Cell%20Phone%20Behavioral%20Problems%20Kids%2002%202008.pdf (Prenatal and postnatal concerns including behavioral problems and ADHD).

In a CBS news article, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said, “Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn’t wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later.”

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You may also be interested in:

Kids, Teens, and Internet Safety: Reducing the Dangers

Build a Better Brain

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