Health Experts Warn Black Friday Shoppers About Wireless Devices for Kids with National #PracticeSafeTech Campaign
(November 21, 2019) - Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, doctors and scientists warn parents about their children’s safety when choosing wireless holiday gifts. Leading think tank Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is promoting safer use of cell phones, laptops and iPads. EHT urges parents and grandparents not to buy their children so-called “smart” phones or watches or other wireless toys as holiday gifts.
“I spent my whole career in the technology sector. I’ve seen some tremendous benefits. I’ve also seen if not used properly technology can be harmful. I believe the way we deploy wireless devices today is harmful,” said Frank Clegg, former President of Microsoft Canada and CEO of Canadians For Safe Technology.
“Parents might be preparing to buy their child a smartphone, virtual reality headset, wearable fitness tracker, or Wi-Fi toy, yet they are unaware that these devices expose their children to radiofrequency wireless radiation,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT.
A 2015 survey four years ago found that on average American children get their first cellphone when they're only 6 years old. A recent report from Common Sense says teens now spend more than six and a half hours per day on screens.
"The scientific evidence is now clear and compelling. We need to give our children toys and tools to grow and learn, not toys and tools which could harm them. The Cincinnati Children's study found higher screen time associated with underdeveloped brain regions in preschoolers- the very parts of the brain that support language and literacy skills, imagery and executive function,”said Dr. Devra Davis, EHT President.
“Young children learn and love best through face to face connections. We want to spread the message of healthy use of technology this holiday season,” stated Davis. EHT’s holiday campaign encourages parents to become informed about how to minimize children’s screen time and use technology in safer ways because published research associates wireless radiation exposure to memory damage, behavioral problems and cancer.
EHT has developed Super-Smart and Safe Technology Tips and factsheets for parents looking for common sense recommendations to navigate this holiday shopping season and ensure their children are safe and healthy.
Seven Super-Smart and Safe Technology Tips for shoppers:
- Infants need cuddles and laps (not iPads and Apps)
- Choose real books and imaginative hands-on toys for young children instead of screens. Ideas include building materials and toys/dolls for creative play.
- If technology is a must have then 1. buy safer tech with wired capability -instead of wireless- and 2. always use Airplane/Flight Mode with the device on a table (not lap) if handing a screen to a child.
- Be aware of toys that expose your child to wireless radiation.
- Cell phones are not safe for children and they are not toys.
- Get serious about managing screen time for yourself and for your family
- Spread awareness to your friends and family
Holiday gifts that expose your children to wireless radiation
- Cell phones and smartphones
- Smart watches
- Virtual reality headsets
- Wireless headsets
- Wi-Fi or cell phone connected dolls and stuffed animals
- Wi-Fi Tablets
- Wireless gaming systems
- Wirelessly-operated drones
- Virtual assistant speakers
- Wearable tech like fitness trackers
Environmental Health Trust Factsheets for Parents: