With recent research from the World Health Organisation showing a link (or ‘positive association’ as they put it) between mobile phone use and increased risk of a malignant type of brain cancer, what does this mean for our children?
It’s a tough call for parents to know when to give in to the relentless demands from our kids for a mobile phone or a Nintendo DS or other gadgets. For many parents, particularly those of fiercely independent teenagers, mobile phones are seen as a necessary device for keeping in touch with their children while they are away from the house. There is a certain degree of reassurance knowing that you have means of contacting the child and, perhaps more importantly, the child has means of contacting you in case of any emergency.
But with this latest research and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, warning that "There is general consensus that children are more vulnerable to radiation from mobile phones than adults,” the advice is to be cautious and to encourage a sensible, ‘essential calls only’ approach to mobile phone use.
As Dr Holohan is reported as saying in an article in The Irish Independent, "We may not truly understand the health effects of mobile phones for many years. However, research does show that using mobile phones affects brain activity. Therefore, the sensible thing to do is to adopt a precautionary approach.” He encourages children to send text messages and to have a ‘hands-free’ device for making verbal calls so that the phone is not placed directly next to the head. With the summer holidays just around the corner and children away from their school friends for a long period of time and tempted to make phone calls to keep up to date with the latest gossip, it is most definitely worth sitting down and talking about these issues.
What do you think? Is this something which worries you?