Children around the world use smartphones for a variety of purposes. Some children are seen talking to their friends for long periods of time, while others spend their time playing games on the phone. The Internet is the abode of knowledge for children. While the utility of smartphones cannot be argued, the continued use and exposure of mobiles can have a detrimental effect on a child.
Bad effects of smartphones / cellphones on children
Mobile phones can be an easy way to confuse or confuse children. However, these come with their own faults. The negative effects of regular mobile phone use include:
For some time now, there has been extensive research into understanding the effects of cellphone radiation on children. Since children are still at a stage where their bodies are undergoing change and growth, the effects of mobile radiation on them may differ from those of adults.
Children who are prone to use the phone for extended periods of time are more likely to develop anti-malignant tumors, especially in the ear and brain area, due to the presence of the phone near the ear. Bones, tissues, and protective lining for organs such as the brain are still very thin in children. Thus, these organs absorb 80% of the radiation emitted from mobile phones. Radiation can have strange effects on the human body, sometimes even directly affecting the nervous system. The World Health Organization has classified it as a “potential carcinogen” and carries the potential risk of cancer.
2. Problems with brain activity
Its internal electromagnetic waves work primarily for all types of communication on mobile phones. The brain has its own electrical tendencies and communicates in the neural network. In children, waves from the phone can easily penetrate directly into the inner parts of the brain because their immune systems are not tightened. Studies have shown that just talking on the phone for 2 minutes changes the electrical activity inside a child’s brain. This defective activity can lead to changes in mood and behavioral tendencies, and children may have difficulty learning new things or concentrating properly.
3. Academic performance
Many children take their phones with them to school. Chatting with friends or even playing games during school breaks or even in class, this problem is increasing day by day. This results in children failing to concentrate in class, skipping important lessons and, as a result, having problems with reading and exams.
4. Injustice in school
Smartphones not only distract children from their studies, but they can score well on exams as well as create and increase their misuse. It has been widely observed that children use inbuilt calculators in exams that are not approved by the school, hide copy or reference information for cheating in exams, and even exchange answers with other students by telling them to be silent during exams. This kind of behavior not only affects academic performance, but also their personality.
5. Inappropriate media
Like other gadgets, the mobile phone is a tool or device and can be used for the wrong purpose. Children may see inappropriate messages, pictures or other media shared by their friends or in groups and may pass it on to others. They change their perceptions and thinking processes and turn to pornography at an early age. Even exchanging their own image, irresponsibly, can cause a stigma that will affect their lives for a long time.
6. Sleep disturbances
Children can talk to friends late at night, play games or scroll through social media, which can lead to fatigue and restlessness over time. Less sleep also affects learning life, as children need too much sleep to concentrate on what is taught in school. Therefore, it has a domino effect that penetrates all levels of their lives.
7. Medical issues
Having children chip in their mobile phones in their free time means that they do not participate in physical activities and do not get fresh air. This puts them at risk for obesity and other illnesses, which can later lead to harmful diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
8. Mental health
On social media, children can come in contact with cyberbullies who harass and threaten them on the internet. Many children who have been cyberbullying can only admit their experiences much later in life, when they have already suffered emotional damage. When children wait too long for online, they don’t pay attention, social media can also cause frustration and anxiety.
Safety Tips to Reduce Mobile Phone Risks
It is very important to take proper measures to ensure protection from mobile phones when children grow up.
Refrain from giving cell phones to children under 18 years of age. Young children are unable to develop the skull bone density and protective tissue needed for the brain, making them vulnerable to the effects of radiation.
Use a wired headset instead of holding the phone to our ear when our child is talking on the phone.
When traveling, we should avoid giving our child our mobile phone constantly. The car’s metallic body blocks signals, increasing the phone’s ability to catch them.
Do not allow our child to use a mobile phone where the signal strength of our mobile is weak. Mobiles, in such cases, amplify their own radiation to get a good signal strength which can be harmful to the baby.
As adults, it is important for parents and other people in the home to limit their phone use when children are around. This is important not only to avoid radiation, but also to create a pattern of behavior in children.
If mobile phone towers are near our home or near our child’s school, it is advisable to take extra care as the exposure to radiation is higher than usual.
Restrict our child from taking phone calls to school. Keep the school contact number and provide our own number to the school for emergencies.
Keep our mobile phones safe with us and out of reach of our children at night. Children may try to use it silently in our absence.
Like every technology or tool here, a mobile phone is a double-edged sword. The technical skills of the smartphone are remarkable and it is also a great tool for children to learn. However, it goes a long way in ensuring the health of children and developing good behavioral habits in them by limiting the time to use and restraining things.
The authors of this article are Associate Editors of the ‘Environment Review’.