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Using Mobile Phones Near Babies: Safe or Not?

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Mar 31, 2023

Using Mobile Phones Near Babies: Safe or Not?

In a new review, researchers set their focus on the relationship between microwave radiation (MWR) given off by wireless devices and the wellness of human beings, especially children and unborn babies. This was to help understand whether using mobile phones near babies was harmful. 

Accordingly, compared to adults, children and unborn babies are at a higher risk of damage to the body when exposed to MWR. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) advocates the principle of ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable).

It makes people aware of the benefits of avoiding the usage of cell phones as much as possible and specifically keeping young and unborn babies away from its harmful radiation.

However, there are several renowned medical institutes and organizations like IARC, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that differ from the notion that cell phone radiation can cause cancer. 

Side Effects of Using Mobile Phone Near Babies

More absorbent brain tissue, thinner skulls, and relatively small size of bodies make children more prone to MWR absorption. Also, their immunity is weak and internal organs are yet to be fully developed, leaving them more susceptible to diseases as compared to adults. For unborn babies, exposure to MWR results in the protective sheath’s degeneration. The objective of this sheath is to protect brain neurons.

Multiple studies have proven that children are more vulnerable to MWR. One of them found out that children’s brain tissue absorbed MWR two times more than adults. Another study revealed that the rate of MWR in children’s bone marrow is 10 times higher than adults.

Cell Phones and Health Risks

Using cell phones near babies may lead to many potential health risks, including brain tumors, which can be fatal. However, until now, experts still have divided opinions about the extent of the risk of cancer from the use of mobile phones. 

Guidelines on Using Mobile Phones Near Babies

  • Mobile phones have led to several lifestyle diseases. However, there are certain ways in which mobile phones can be used carefully to control the risks. Hold the cell phone a certain distance away from yourself. Around 15 cm from the ear is a safe distance.
  • Mobile phones keep releasing radiation if kept switched on. Thus, when not using it, you should keep it away from your body. Put it in a purse, bag, or backpack. Keeping it in the shirt’s chest pocket is a strict no-no.
  • Make a conscious effort to not hold your mobile phone against your body while in use. Instead, use a bluetooth headset to avoid cell phone radiation. 
  • Pregnant women should keep mobile phones away from their abdomen while breastfeeding mothers should not use mobile phones at all.
  • Children and teens should not keep mobile phones in their bedroom at night. 
  • For boys, mobile phones should be kept away from the side pocket of their pants as the radiation from cell phones may affect the quality of sperm and sperm count. Girls should refrain from keeping cell phones in their bras as the radiation may cause breast cancer.
  • Parents should restrict the use of cell phones of their children as much as possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children less than a year old should have ZERO screen time. Children older than one should only have LESS THAN ONE HOUR of screen time a day.

Key Takeaways

It may be initially difficult for you to restrict the use of mobile phones. But, a persistent effort over time will help you to prevent the use of mobile phones around your little one.

With time you will realize the joy and happiness that you achieve when you spend all your time with your little one without undivided attention.

Learn more about Other Child Health Issues here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Mar 31, 2023

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