Smartphone use continues to rise in the U.S. and worldwide, especially among young people, and health professionals are concerned that radio signals emitted from the devices may affect developing brains.
“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said Dr. Karen Smith, an officer at CDPH. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cellphones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”
About 95% of all people in the U.S. — children included — own a cell phone, and 12% rely on their smartphones for everyday Internet access, according to CDPH. The average child gets their first cell phone by the age of 10, and most keep their devices on or near them all the time.
Smartphones emit radio frequency energy when they send signals to and from cell phone towers. The scientific community is divided on the risks of cell phone use, but CDPH said recent studies have associated the devices with long-term health problems.
“We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults,” Smith said.
Other tips for reducing exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones include:
- Keeping the phone away from the body
- Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
- Reducing the use of cellphones to stream audio or video or to download or upload large files
- Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
- Removing headsets when not on a call
- Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy because they may actually increase exposure
Source: Fresno Bee