It seems these days just about every child has some form of technology, whether it’s a cell phone or a tablet. Many of us as parents don’t want our children falling behind the learning curve, when we wonder “is my child ready for a smartphone?”, more often than not we decide to put a cellphone in their hands to keep them occupied and to teach them how to be independent.
However, a child having a cell phone at such a young age can be more harmful than you may realize. Which is why you should delay getting your child a smartphone.
Table of Contents
1) Physical Health
Cell phones and smartphones, like all wireless devices, emit EMF radiation, which is harmful for both children and adults. But children are even more vulnerable.
During phases of growth in children, cells divide and replicate at a much higher rate than adults. This process is called cellular mitosis. EMF radiation from wifi devices such as cellphones, tablets, and Bluetooth devices have been known to actually cause genetic mutations in DNA during cellular mitosis. Since children have higher rates of cellular mitosis than adults, this DNA damage replicates more rapidly through their bodies.
Another significant physiological difference between children and adults, when it comes to the health risks of EMF exposure, is that the skulls of children are smaller and thinner than those of adults, and they are still developing.
The skull is a natural protector against radiation. Since a child’s skull is thinner than an adult’s skull, children can be more susceptible to the damages that EMF radiation can cause to their brains. And since their heads are smaller, the radiation can penetrate even more deeply into the brain than with adults. This makes the risks of exposure much higher in children and young adults.
2) Mental Health
Another reason why you should delay giving a child or young teen a cellphone is tech addiction.
While a cell phone is not a drug, children do not know how to limit themselves from video games or other online activities. This overstimulation can cause stress on the brain, which can lead the brain to release a neurotransmitter called cortisol. Cortisol can actually harm the memory neurons in your brain.
Overstimulation can also cause the brain to feel pleasure from this activity – so in a way, it’s like an addictive substance that your brain will seek out again and again as a bad habit.
3) Academic Performance
One recent study conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey found that cell phones in the classroom led to a notable drop in academic performance, reflected in lower grades.
“Many dedicated students think they can divide their attention in the classroom without harming their academic success,” said lead researcher and professor of psychology Arnold Glass in a press release, “but we found an insidious effect on exam performance and final grades.”
Is My Child Ready for a Smartphone?
You should limit your child’s use of wireless devices, and consider delaying giving your children cell phones and other wireless tools and toys. So when you ask yourself, ‘is my child ready for a smart phone?’, hold off on answering ‘yes’ as long as possible.
This is the idea behind Wait Until 8th, which is a movement to empower parents to delay getting their children smartphones and other connected devices until the 8th grade.