Cell Phone For 4-Year Olds: A Bad Idea

Little boy on mobile phoneCell phones aimed at children as young as four years old are soon to be launched in the UK. This despite the official Government advice to parents that they should avoid giving mobiles to under-16s as a safety precaution against the potential health risks.

The new phone, called the FireFly, looks like a toy and has just five buttons, including two that call mom and dad directly. The Ireland-based company that markets the phone has already sold over 7,000 of them in Ireland and plans to launch it in the UK before the end of the year.

This issue is of great concern because studies have shown that the radiation penetration rates among children are much higher than adults. Dr. Om Gandhi, a respected University of Utah scientist, compared in his 1996 study the specific absorption rates (measured in milliwatts per kilogram, or mW/kg) of cell phone radiation inside the brain among three age groups: 5-year olds, 10-year olds, and adults. This is what he found:

- 7.84 in an adult
- 19.7 in a ten-year old child
- 33.12 in a five-year old child

Radiation penetration in adult

Radiation Penetration
in head of adult

Radiation Penetration in head of 10 year old child

Radiation Penetration in
head of 10 year old child

Radiation Penetration in head of 5 year old child

Radiation Penetration in
head of 5 year old child

These differences in exposure are quite substantial, and show potentially serious health risks to children from the radiofrequency waves. And government officials are taking notice. Professor Lawrie Challis, who led the UK Government’s research on the safety of cell phone use, said that primary school pupils should not have phones at all.

But other countries are going beyond just issuing warnings and advice. France, for example, is pushing through laws banning sales of cell phones to children under six and prohibiting advertising them to children under 12.

*Image courtesy of Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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