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Use of Mobile Phones by Children and Adolescents – Introduction

 

Children and adolescents began using mobile phones sometime after adults.  As with adult use patterns, here too there has been an impressive increase in the extent of use of mobile phones, together with a lowering of the age at first use.

 

The increasing use of mobile phones by children raises numerous issues, such as: are there health effects specific to young users?  Should the minimal age at use be restricted? Should there be restricted use while the children are in school?  Can sales of mobile phones be restricted below a certain age? Should mobile phone advertising aimed at children be prohibited?

 

Young children using mobile phones and tablets

Young children using mobile phones
and tablets

 

 

The child population differs from the adult population.  They are not 'little adults', and the two population groups differ in physical and mental characteristics.

 

As a rule, with respect to all carcinogens including non-ionizing radiation, and most cancer sites, there exists a negative relationship between the age at exposure and the risk of morbidity (the lower the age at exposure to radiation, the higher the morbidity risk), so that this population must be considered a sensitive population compared to adults.

 

The increasing use of mobile phones by children, and their being a population at risk, makes it logical and justified to emphasize the educated use of radiation-emitting devices among children.

 

The recommendations for the educated use of mobile phones may be found on the Ministry of Health Website.  These guidelines reflect the attempt to strike a balance between the ever-increasing use among children, and their health and safety, and they include recommendations for parents to consider the age at first use, to restrict use, and in any case to ensure the use of earphones (not wireless) or microphones when the phone is in use.

 

 

 


 

 20.12.15