Effects of Cell Phone Use

There are whispers that smart devices are unhealthy for children, while others state that technology is beneficial for kids. Based on the information and studies published, here are answers to some of the top questions.


Is Radiation Coming From Smart Devices Real? 

According to a blog posted on the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles website by Kasey Rangan, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, smart devices use non-ionizing radiation. This is the same type of radiation used by radios and microwaves. 

“To date, studies show that this type of radiation does not cause cancer,” Rangan states in the blog. “But it’s reasonable to be cautious about your child’s cellphone use.” 

Rangan suggests parents not allow children to sleep with their cellphones and limit the overall time spent on their devices. There need to be more studies done to fully evaluate the risk of cell phone use for children, Rangan says. 


Are Smart Phones Unhealthy for children? 

A study published in the National Library of Medicine states, “we found that using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, was associated with a higher likelihood of behavior problems (i.e., conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention difficulties.”

According to the study, users that spent 60 minutes or more a day had significantly more problems/symptoms compared to non-users or users spending less than 60 minutes. The problems and symptoms they found were “conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, and emotional symptoms.”

The study also found that media use at bedtime was associated with poorer sleep because of the “increased autonomic activation due to hyperarousal or disrupted melatonin production due to brightly lit screens.” 


Are Phones in Schools Being Abused?

“Sometimes they use it for the right purposes like texting family members and figuring out how to get home,” says McKenna Jansky, a Vocal Music Director at Standley Lake High School. “But a lot of the time it’s not being used for something that’s productive.”

Direct communication is essential for students because they depend on their families, yet it’s a distraction. 

“Sometimes having that direct line of communication doesn’t allow students to be completely focused on school,” Jansky says. 

It might seem like the use of smart devices is allowing children to be more social. Yet, according to the National Library of Medicine study, “frequent mobile device use is likely to increase children’s social isolation, and hinder opportunities for social interaction with family, friends, that benefits the development of social competence…” 

Smartphones and devices have become necessary in this day and age, and there are unknown risks, especially for children. This topic is continuing to be further explored and investigated.

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