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Kids and Tablets: The Very Real Dangers

Friday, April 12th 2024 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

The Dawn of the Tablet Era

In the year 2010, Apple Inc. unveiled the first generation iPad, marking a pivotal moment in the technological landscape that swiftly transitioned tablets from being seen as futuristic novelties to indispensable tools for daily life. This groundbreaking launch catalyzed a shift in consumer behaviors and expectations, sparking an unprecedented demand for devices that were child-friendly and easily portable. Tablets quickly became the preferred tech accessory among the younger demographic, with statistics by 2017 revealing that nearly 80% of American households with young children owned a tablet. The common sentiment was humorously summarized by a journalist who noted, “If you have both a tablet and children, the tablet invariably ends up in the hands of the children.”

Children’s Embrace of Tablets: A Dual-Edged Sword

The enthusiastic adoption of tablets by children has elicited mixed reactions. On one side, some researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that tablet use could potentially accelerate developmental milestones in children, leading them to advocate for the integration of tablets into children’s lives from infancy. Conversely, experts at Harvard and organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have expressed concerns, emphasizing the irreplaceable value of tactile learning and human interaction over digital engagement, warning against the overuse of digital media and its possible detrimental effects on children’s development.

Emerging Concerns Over Radiofrequency Radiation

While much of the discourse has revolved around the psychological and developmental impacts of tablet use, less attention has been paid to the physical health risks associated with the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation emitted by these devices. Research has indicated that children, due to their developing physiological structures, are especially susceptible to the effects of RF radiation. Early warnings about the widespread exposure to artificial RF radiation hinted at potential large-scale public health ramifications, emphasizing the urgent need for heightened awareness and regulation.

Reevaluating the Risks: Scientific Findings and Public Concern

Despite initial skepticism regarding the dangers associated with children’s use of tablets, significant developments have emerged. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, in 2011, classified RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen, a classification that includes radiation from devices commonly used by children such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Subsequently, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) published findings that strengthened the evidence of carcinogenic risks from cell phone use, leading to a growing concern among parents about the health implications of wireless technology on their children.

The Silent Emissions: Understanding Tablet Radiation

When connected to the internet, tablets continue to emit RF electromagnetic radiation even in the absence of active use. These emissions occur in frequent bursts, potentially exposing users to radiation levels that vary based on the device’s proximity to the body and the strength of the network signal. Despite manufacturers’ warnings regarding safe device handling, children often use tablets in close proximity to their bodies, inadvertently increasing their exposure to RF radiation. The outdated guidelines by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on RF exposure further complicate the issue, as they do not adequately protect children from the potential risks posed by modern wireless devices.

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