Protecting Children from Radiation

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It is now well established that EM radiation is dangerous for adults and especially for pregnant women and children.

Children and unborn babies,  therefore, need protecting from these harmful effects.

Consistent evidence for acute electrosensitivity symptoms in teenagers using cellphones

Five recent studies show a link between acute electrosensitivity symptoms and teenagers using cellphones. This is concerning, because of their consistency, as noted in the Swedish report. These studies were published in 2013 and 2014, after reports such as England's AGNIR of 2012.

  • "It is striking that in the last year several papers appeared on symptoms in adolescents and use of mobile phones. Quite clearly, these cross-sectional studies are consistent in that they report an association between mobile phone use in adolescents and the occurrence of symptoms." ("Recent Research on EMF and Health Risk" Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, 2015, p.80) 

Government warnings to safeguard children:

Increasing numbers of governments are warning of special dangers to children from electromagnetic radiation.

  • Enlgand: in 2000 warned against children under 16 using cellphones except for essential calls.
  • France: in 2016 warned children to restrict their use of radiation devices, because of the dangers of electro-sensitivity symptoms ("lack of sleep or disorders such as fatigue, stress, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, headaches"):
    “There is "a possible effect of radiofrequency on the cognitive functions of a child", such as memory, attention, psychomotor skills or language. The results showing acute [short-term] effects are based on experimental studies whose methodology is well controlled." They come to the same conclusion about "possible effects" on the "well-being" of children, a state defined by lack of sleep or disorders such as fatigue, stress, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, headaches."
    (The French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Labor Safety (ANSES): "Exposition aux radiofréquences et santé des enfants" (Report on RF exposure and the health of children) July 8 2016;
    Pierre Le Hir: "Alerte sur les dangers des radiofréquences pour les enfants" Le Monde, July 8 2016) 

Seven major areas:

1. Cellphones and smartphones


  1. All cellphones and smartphones have minimum regulatory distances to be kept from the body to prevent heating (usually about 1-3 cm or up to 1 inch).
  2. Many governments are also advising much greater distances (1-2 meters or 3-6 feet) or limited use, because of the non-thermal effects, such as using on speakerphone, with air-tube headsets, only for texting, switched off or on air-plane mode at all times except in use, kept in separate bags and not in clothing on the body, etc. 

2. WiFi and iPads at home and at school


  1. Laptops are tested for heating safety at a distance of 20 cm. This means that laptops may cause excessive body heating if held closer to the human body than 20 cm (8 inches).
  2. Some governments are also advising limited use, because of the non-thermal effects. This advice includes using laptops with radiation transmitters switched off or on air-plane mode at all times, except in uploading or downloading before or after a class of children is present,
  3. Some governments are now insisting on using wired laptops with cabled internet access only. If the radiation transmitters are switched off this would significantly reduce the harm to children using laptops in schools and at home.
  4. Some governments have banned WiFi in schools and for young children (see Legal).
  5. All WiFi should be removed from the home and cables used instead. A less healthy alternative is that WiFi should be switched off at night and only switched on when needed. 

3. Cellphone Towers near schools and homes

4. Mothers using cellphones or iPads during pregnancy

5. Electric power lines and electric wiring

6. Downsides of electronic devices in education, including mental health

7. Smart meters

Protection from Smart Meters for children and others sensitive to radiation. ​

Doctors advise that it is key that sleeping areas are free from radiation.

NB: screening on just the outside of the meter may send the radiation inside the property:

     (see also: Smart Meter Protection)

Government and regulatory advice

Many governments and experts now warn about dangers to children from wireless radiation.

Protecting vulnerable people

It has long been established that some people are more sensitive to electromagnetic exposure than others. The principles of public health require that all peoples are protected in a public environment, and not just a limited proportion of the general population.

Such vulnerable people, such as children, pregnant women, the ill, the elderly and those especially sensitive, cannot be expected to have radiation detection meters at hand or protective clothing or shielded housing or shielded workplaces. Instead, as with air quality, chemical pollution or other known toxins, it is the responsibility of regulators and governments to ensure that the environment is safe for everyone.

Most Environmental Protection Agencies see their role as protecting all people, not just some, and accept established non-thermal mechanisms, not just thermal ones:

  •  "(c) The 1992 ANSI/IEEE conclusion that there is no scientific data indicating that certain subgroups of the population are more at risk than others is not supported by NCRP and EPA reports.
  • (d) The thesis that the 1992 ANSI/IEEE recommendations are protective of all mechanisms of interaction is unwarranted because the adverse effects level in the 1992 ANSI/IEEE standard is based on a thermal effect."
    (EPA: Office of Radiation & Indoor Air: "EPA Submission to FCC", 1993, Summary 1.c,d.)

Some other agencies, however, are ambivalent because of industry pressure. Thus the World Health Organization's ICNIRP in 2002 published a statement requiring governments to set non-thermal limits to protect everyone in their populations. At the same time, however, it still clung to its heating limits instead of introducing appropriate long-term and low-level biological limits at non-thermal levels.

Cellphones and computers can harm learning and education

The following studies do not attempt to ascertain why students' performance can be harmed by cellphones or computers.

Experts suspect it may depend on both:

  • the way the brain is affected physically by harmful electromagnetic exposure, and
  • the way the brain adapts cognitively to a less stimulating or less demanding learning environment.

Banning cellphones improves students’ performance

  • “This paper investigates the impact of schools banning mobile phones on student test scores. By surveying schools in four English cities regarding their mobile phone policies and combining it with administrative data, we find that student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases post ban. We use a difference in differences (DID) strategy, exploiting variations in schools’ autonomous decisions to ban these devices, conditioning on a range of student characteristics and prior achievement. Our results indicate that these increases in performance are driven by the lowest achieving students. This suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities.”
    (Beland L-P, Murphy R (2015) “Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance” London School of Economics: Centre for Economic Performance, Discussion Paper, No.CEPDP1350; pdf)

Computers harm learning

  • “We present find­ings from a study that pro­hib­ited com­puter devices in ran­domly selected class­rooms of an intro­duc­tory eco­nom­ics course at the United States Military Academy. Average final exam scores among stu­dents assigned to class­rooms that allowed com­put­ers were 18 per­cent of a stan­dard devi­a­tion lower than exam scores of stu­dents in class­rooms that pro­hib­ited com­put­ers. Through the use of two sep­a­rate treat­ment arms, we uncover evi­dence that this neg­a­tive effect occurs in class­rooms where lap­tops and tablets are per­mit­ted with­out restric­tion and in class­rooms where stu­dents are only per­mit­ted to use tablets that must remain flat on the desk surface.”
    (Carter SP, Greenberg K, Walker M (2016) “The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military Academy” Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Department of Economics; & National Bureau of Economic Research: School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII) Discussion Paper, #2016.02. pdf

Computers used frequently at school reduce learning outcomes

  • “Students who use computers moderately at school tend to have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. But students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after accounting for social background and student demographics. The results also show no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in ICT for education. And perhaps the most disappointing finding of the report is that technology is of little help in bridging the skills divide between advantaged and disadvantaged students … One interpretation of all this is that building deep, conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking requires intensive teacher-student interactions, and technology sometimes distracts from this valuable human engagement … If students use smartphone to copy and paste prefabricated answers to questions, it is unlikely to help them to become smarter. If we want students to become smarter than a smartphone, we need to think hard about the pedagogies we are using to teach them.”
    (OECD (2015) Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection, Pisa, OECD Publishing: Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate for Education and Skills, p.3-4)


Reduced screen-time improves students’ grades

  • “We investigated prospective associations between physical activity/sedentary behaviour (PA/SED) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results in British adolescents … An extra hour/day of screen time at 14·5y is approximately equivalent to two fewer GCSE grades (e.g., from B to D) at 16y. Strategies to achieve the right balance between screen and non-screen time may be important for improving academic performance. Concerns that encouraging more physical activity may result in decreased academic performance seem unfounded.”
    (Corder K, Atkin AJ, Bamber DJ, Brage S, Dunn VJ, Ekelund U, Owens M, van Sluijs EMF, Goodyer IM (2015) “Revising on the run or studying on the sofa: prospective associations between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and exam results in British adolescents“ Int J Behav Nutrit Phys Activity. 12: 106; DOI: 10.1186/s12966-015-0269-2)

Autism risks

If the mother is exposed to high electromagnetic fields while pregnant, the child has been shown to have a higher risk of autism and other developmental problems.

It is therefore very important that pregnant women should not use cellphones, WiFi, live near to cellphone towers, have a smart meter on the property, or sleep with electrical devices in the bedroom and the house.

Dr D. Klinghardt: "A Treatment Protocol for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)" (2006)

Dr D. Klinghardt: ""Smart Meters" & EMR: The Health Crisis Of Our Time" (2012, 43 mins)