iPad Safety this Christmas

Last Christmas (2010) my husband got me an iPad, which I had mixed feelings about.  Once I got acquainted with my iPad I started using it for entertainment purposes only.  Well, my kids caught on very quickly and soon enough there were apps on there for their entertainment.  About six-seven months later I realized the iPad use was getting excessive, and now I had to find creative ways to reduce its use, but not eliminate it completely.

In my research, I was curious to learn more about iPad use and children and I was shocked with what I found.  Here are some facts I discovered:

  • This Christmas (2011) The Nielson Company reported that 44% of children ages 6-12 years wanted an iPad – last year 2010 it was 31% of children;
  • microwave radiation from cell phones weaken the brain’s protective barrier; and children brains absorb twice as much of this radiation as adults;
  •  Children absorb twice the amount of cellphone radiation to the heads, up to triple in the their brain’s hippocampus and hypothalamus, greater absorption in their eyes, and as much as 10-times more in their bone marrow when compared to adults; (see data here)
  • Fine Print in your iPad manual reads: “a small percentage of people may be susceptible to blackouts or seizures (even if they have never had one before) when exposed to flashing lights or light patterns such as when playing games or watching videos… Discontinue use of iPad and consult a physician if you experience headaches, blackouts, seizures, convulsion, eye or muscle twitching, loss of awareness, involuntary movement, or disorientation. To reduce risk of headaches, blackouts, seizures and eyestrain, avoid prolonged use, hold iPad some distance from your eyes, use iPad in a well-lit room, and take frequent breaks.”
  • Dr. Devra Davis, EHT founder and Healthy Child Healthy Word Advisory Board member states that, “…a child’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is cased in a thinner skull; that’s why they absorb more microwave radiation. The brains of children with learning problems, autism or other neurological disorders may be more vulnerable to damage than those of their healthy friends and family members.”

There are some great resources at the bottom of this post on places you can find more information about risks associated with cell phone use, radiation and more.

The greatest gift you can give your child this Christmas is one of Safety.  If you are going to purchase any electronic devices for your children, or allow them to use yours, keep these facts in mind. Take a proactive approach and apply rules and boundaries on electronic devices in your home to keep your children safe – and even your grandchildren if you have sons! (sperm function is also affected by cell phones and radiation).

Something to consider:

  1. iPad use is closely monitored and limited for young children;
  2. Children (under 3) should be monitored for any disturbances in their health after iPad use time (ie. Headaches, crankiness, dizziness, etc);
  3. Considering eliminating iPads and electronics for very young children and even children that may have brain disorders or neurological problems;
  4. Children cannot keep an iPad a safe distance from their bodies to reduce exposure. Possibly hold it for them and set a timer so children know when time is up;
  5. Turn the WiFi feature “off” or “airplane mode” to reduce risks;
  6. Explain to your older children the health risks – communication is key to understanding why we set certain rules or guidelines;
  7. Keep yourself educated, and tell your friends!

 

Resources:

http://www.environmentalhealthtrust.org/content/downloads

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2011/2011_131-eng.php

http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/are_ipads_iphones_good_gifts_for_kids/

http://www.environmentalhealthtrust.org/sites/test1.nbcomp.com/files/FlyerDisconnect2010_2.pdf

http://www.saferphonezone.com/a-summary-exposure-limits-the-underestimation-of-absorbed-cellphone-radiation-especially-in-children/

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