Does Fisher Price's Latest Gadget for the Kiddies Constitute a Significant Health Hazard for Children?
EMFacts Consultancy, 26 July 2013
As the old saying goes, a picture (or video in this case) is worth a 1000 words. Therefore click on the Fisher Price latest product link: http://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/brands/laughandlearn/products/64176 and then click on the demo video.
To quote from the Fisher Price website:
According to Fisher Price “this sturdy case will protect your iPhone or iPod touch from dribbles, drool, and unwanted call-making. Busy beads and a mirror add baby-appropriate play. And free Laugh & Learn™ apps mean plenty of learning fun! Durable case is compatible with: iPhone®, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
iPod touch® 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation. Your device locks securely inside case to protect against:
• Baby’s dribbles & drool
• Unwanted pressing of home button
Fun Fisher-Price learning apps—just right for baby! Download from the App Store—no purchase needed.
Note some of the supposed customer comments, under the title “What families are saying:
“ I got this for my 14 month old who loves playing with my ipod touch. He loves the baby games that I downloaded, and I think it is a fantastic idea!!! “
“I think this is great for sidetracking my son in a restaurant and not worrying about him breaking my phone … Love this thing!!!”
Fisher Price’s product designer geeks must obviously be ignorant of the science. Are they aware that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the microwave radiation that the toddlers will be exposed to from the iPhone/iPod inside the Laugh & Learn case as a possible human carcinogen? Perhaps Fisher Price should send its geeks on a fact finding tour before coming up with these things.
What would the American Academy of Pediatrics say about the laugh & Learn case if they are consulted? The AAP is a professional medical professional organization consisting of of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical specialists and pediatric surgeons. They have called for action to protect young children and teenagers from possible cell phone hazards. To quote:
The AAP strongly supports H.R. 6358′s emphasis on examining the effects ofradiofrequency (RF) energy on vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women. In addition, we are pleased that the bill would require the consideration of those effects when developing maximum exposure standards.
Children are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures, including cellphone radiation. The differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child’sbrain compared to an adult’s brain could allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults.
Reference: AAP letter to Congressman D. Kucinich, Dec. 12, 2012
What would Lennart Hardell and his team in Sweden advise the Fisher Price designers if consulted? After all consider:
On January 3, 2013 Dr. Hardell and his research group in Sweden reported on their recent paper published in Pathophysiology. This was a meta-analysis of previous data on research on brain tumour risk and the use of cell phones. They found that “there is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with use of wireless phones (mobile phones and cordless phones) mainly based on results from case-control studies from the Hardell group and Interphone Final Study results.” The authors concluded that the existing radiofrequency exposure standards are “not adequate to protect public health”
If that were not enough for Fisher Price to reconsider its wisdom in marketing their Laugh & Learn case they should consult with well known Australian Neurosurgeons Charlie Teo, Gautam Khurama and RIchard Bittar. Consider:
In March 2009 three Australian neurosurgeons, Drs. Vini Khurana, Charles Teo and Richard Bittar, wrote a ‘Letter to the Editor’ to the medical journal Surgical Neurology. Titled “Health risks of cell phone technology”, the letter expressed the neurosurgeons’ concerns over what they considered was a serious emerging public health risk from the ubiquitous use of the cell phone and the increasing evidence for harm, including brain and salivary gland tumours, male infertility, behavioral disturbances and electrosensitivity. The authors concluded by strongly recommending that children’s cell phone use should be restricted.
On previous occasions Khurana, Teo and Bittar have publicly expressed their concerns over what they were seeing in their surgeries. For example, Dr. Teo stated in a 60 Minutes interview (April 3rd, 2009) that he was seeing a rise in the incidence of brain cancer and as a result the public should be informed as to all the potential causes of the disease. Teo said that he was “incredibly worried, depressed at the number of kids I’m seeing coming in with brain tumours….Just in the last three or four weeks I’ve seen nearly half a dozen kids with tumours which should have been benign and they’ve all been nasty, malignant brain tumours. We are doing something terribly wrong.” Khurana shared Teo’s concerns as he too is “seeing too many young people with such tumours”.
I find it somewhat ironic and sad that Fisher Price calls their device “Laugh and Learn”. This is certainly not a laughing matter and Fisher Price has much to learn.
Please circulate widely.
Don Maisch PhD
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