Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

23 May 2012

Mothers, Do Not Allow Your Toddlers to Play with Tablets and Other Wireless Toys!

Photo from article in 20 Minutes
The number of digital applications for babies and very young children is exploding.  Mothers are risking the health of their kids when they allow them to play with tablets and other "wireless toys" including cell phones.  "Radiation from these objects may lead to brain tumors, genetic damage, leukemia, headaches, anxiety, depression, attention span problems and sleep disorders.  Another concern is that almost all hard plastics, such as those found on a cell phone, contain bisphenol A (BPA).  In animal studies, BPA has been shown to lead to poor brain development, certain types of cancers and early puberty in females." (Text from Ehow, "What are the dangers of babies playing with cell phones?")


All classrooms in public schools in Angers, France, will be equipped with digital tablets. This is a first for Europe. In the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, this is not yet the case. The pedagogical director of public education explains that “in addition to the absence of political will, the use of tablets requires high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity and raises the problem of electrosmog.”  Following is a translation of "Gamins accros aux tablettes", published in the Swiss newspaper, 20 Minutes, on 16 May 2012, which raises the issue of children playing with tablets vs. traditional toys.  



Kids, Fans of Tablets

In this digital age, it is difficult to keep children away!  If computers have for a long time colonized a great majority of our homes, it is now the turn of digital tablets to make significant inroads, notably with toddlers.  As proof, the number of digital applications for babies and very young children is exploding according to the American site theiphonemom.com.
Psychologists and parents, however, are divided regarding the opportunity to place these objects in such small hands.  Mother of a 22-month-old toddler, Aurélie Mercier, aged 32, sees this as a wonderful occasion to expand the boundaries of the world of her son.  “It is an open window to thousands of things which we don’t have at home.”  In the opposite camp, there are those who fear that this perturbs the manner in which children play with traditional games.  Sarah Rotman Epps, consumer analyst of technological products based in Boston, explains that her 2-year-old son adores drawing on paper with a crayon, but is then frustrated when he sees that the image does not move.
The child psychiatrist Serge Tisseron agrees :  « I fear that these applications will prevent children from grasping three-dimensional space, a major stage of their development.  A very young child needs to involve all his senses.”  Ari Brown, a Texas pediatrician who in 2011 edited a report on the use of screens by children less than 2 years old, says that “small children experience the objects that they feel, bite and throw.  No application will replace the importance of taking two blocks and reflecting on how to pile one on top of the other.”
True toys for imitating grown-ups 

Among stuffed animals and other articles found in stores and which delight children, one also finds tablets, conceived especially for them. There even exist several models. Two destined for the youngest (from 2-3 years) does not, however, allow them to surf on the Net. The tablets for older children (from 6-7 years) offer numerous possibilities, even if less than those for adults. Their price varies between 150 and 250 francs.

Avoid the digital divide

Pupils in the public schools in Angers, Maine-et-Loire, are privileged : from now until the summertime, all their classes will be equipped with digital tablets, reported angersmag.info. It is a first for Europe. For the Principal of one of the establishments, “this type of tool is a real benefit for education, which does not hide traditional methods.” Another advantage pointed out: it avoids the digital divide and socially integrates children. In Suisse romande, pupils can all tap on a keyboard, but tablets are not yet being placed in public classrooms. Serge Martin, Pedagogical Director of Required Education in canton Vaud, explains that, “in addition to the absence of political will, the use of tablets requires high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity and raises the problem of electrosmog.”

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