Is it safe to use mobile phones around babies?

Is it safe to use mobile phones around babies?
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PHOTO: The Straits Times

Mobile phones give off radiation, so is it safe to use yours around Baby or let her play with one?

There are many studies conducted over the years to determine if there is an increased risk of brain tumour associated with the use of mobile phones, says Dr Natalie Epton, specialist paediatrician and neonatologist at International Paediatric Clinic.

Most did not find any association with increased risk. The radiation emitted is "non-ionising" rather than "ionising" (one which is emitted by X-rays and known to be linked to cancer), she explains.

But there is still significant scientific uncertainty, especially over long-term health implications after 10 years of usage.

And because none of these studies were conducted with children, no one knows what the risk is to them.

"What we do know is that the use of mobile phones is known to affect sleep patterns and cognitive function (memory and attention), and may cause headaches and dizziness in sensitive individuals," Dr Epton adds.

In light of this, the World Health Organisation advises caution, advocating the Alara principle (As Low as Reasonably Achievable), or the prudent avoidance principle when allowing infants and young children to play with or use the mobile phone.

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