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Scientists: Effects of cell phone radiation on kids is cause for concern

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

They provide endless hours of entertainment and for parents they’re a tool to keep kids still while in public.

Doctor Jeremy Pickell, a pediatrician at Parkside Pediatrics in Greenville says to see just how prevalent mobile devices are in a child’s life, all you have to  do is look at his waiting room.

"Just about any kid that comes in, every family has a tablet or cell phone. You know the younger kids are playing games on it or it’s used as a distraction during the exams, They’re more prevalent and just more a part of society now," Pickell said.

The increasing use of cell phones has some concerned. 

"Kids today are exposed to a lifetime more of cell phone use than older generations were,” Pickell said.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), cell phones emit radio frequency waves, a form of non-ionizing radiation. Some compare it to holding a microwave to your head. NCI says tissue near where the phone is held can absorb that energy.

“Because children are going through much more rapid periods of growth and things like that during early childhood you have to be much more cognizant and aware of the amount of radiation they get,” Pickell said.

Experts said even if the child is not on the phone, the phone is almost always transmitting. The lower your cell service, the more radiation your phone emits as it tries to reach a tower.

Scientists with EMFscientist.org say effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.

Today there are no direct links between cancer and cell phone use, but doctors say more research needs to be done,

Doctors recommend parents limit the amount of time kids use devices, not only because of the radiation exposure but because of other health effects such as eye and ear damage.

Doctors say if you do give kids a cell phone to play an app or to watch a video, they suggest downloading it first and then putting the phone into airplane mode to turn the transmitting off.

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