Natural Parenting

Is EMF Safe for Kids?

baby plays with wifi cell phoneSince my teenagers both became cell phone enabled a few years back, I’ve been nagging them about the four steps they need to take to keep safe. I’ve worried about brain tumor ever risk since the World Health Organization determined that cell phone radiation is a “possible human carcinogen” and studies showed that children receive double the cell phone radiation as adults because of their thinner skulls. But what about the electromagnetic fields—better known as EMF—generated by wireless technologies such as cell phones, tablets and WiFi? Recent action taken by the French government has me worried about that, too.

The largest source of EMF exposure is cell phones, currently owned by more than half of American children between eight and 12. Learn the steps they must take to stay safe. A bill adopted by the French National Assembly in January banned WiFi in childcare facilities. It also restricted cell phone advertising to children under 14 and mandated that manufacturers recommend the use of hand-free kits to consumers.

According to the French National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Safety, people are exposed to EMF frequencies through wireless enabled computers and tablets, electrical power lines and transformers, and cell phone towers.

But the French agency cited cell phones as kids’ biggest source of EMF exposure. Currently, more than half of American children between eight and 12 have their own phones. I’m guessing the other 50% are borrowing them.

Our government doesn’t seem to see any problem with cell phone use. From the FCC website: “the weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems.”

Right. For about 50 years, we didn’t have any problem with cigarettes, either.

The French government’s action comes on the heels of an International Agency for Research on Cancer report that cited factors such as more conducive brain tissue, thinner skulls and longer-term exposure (from earlier introduction) in their suggestion that EMFs can be harmful to children.

So yes, we can take steps to protect our families from EMFs. These steps can be as simple as avoiding wireless baby monitors or as intensive as hard-wiring homes. But unless you go off the grid there’s no getting away from this wired world. And if phones are the main source of exposure, I think that’s a good place to start.

Here’s a link to the four steps your kids need to take to stay safe. Keep nagging, my friends.

Image is from Grabworthy’s round up of “kid-safe” cell phones.


  • woozie

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing and sharing this article. I could not agree more, and am a big proponent of “better safe than sorry”. To that end, my kids now always use a “lapdog” when on their devices. They actually will not use their devices without the ‘dog now. : )

  • Jessica

    I’m very worried about my little girl. I only recently found out about the dangers of EMF and all of the devices that emit this dangerous radiation. My daughter is 2. I used a baby monitor in her room for over 2 years. She’s also been around our cell phones and iPads most of her life. I’ve even let her play with them! It scares me so much to think of the potential health problems she could face because of me and my lack of research and ignorance on these things.

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      I hear you, Jessica. When I first learned about this stuff I’d already had two kids with baby monitors the whole time!! I think the trick is to reduce exposures where you can now, but not stress about the past two years. You are obviously a caring and loving mama who is doing the best she can for her baby. Try not to beat yourself up, okay? Keep me posted on how it goes 🙂 We’ve all been there!

  • Granny

    I have been concerned, for some time, about EMF exposure. Not only to children, but adults. I have chosen to live free of extreme EMF exposure. I have a simple flip phone with an attachment that absorbs the radiation. It’s called a Q disk. I don’t have wireless anything in my home. I hold the cell phone away fro my face (with the speaker on) when I’m using it. I fear for the younger generations who have these thing up to their brains all the time. I recently read where someone was sueing due to cancer of the brain caused by the cell phone. Just a little cojmmon sense will tell us that overuse of anything can cause problems.

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