Study: Cellphones Causing Sleep Problems in Children
These days, children are exposed to smartphones and other electronic devices pretty much from the day they leave their mother’s womb. For many parents, cell phones are a cheap babysitter that keeps a child occupied so they can get some work done. But what are the long-term health effects of such exposure?
Recently, a group of medical researchers at Penn State published a study that suggests children who use cell phones or other electronic screens at night may suffer from reduced sleep–both in terms of time and quality–as well as other health effects such as obesity.
The researchers surveyed 234 children between the ages of 8 and 17 over a six-month period. Based on this data, the study found that “[c]hildren who use their phones at bedtime were more likely to be overweight/obese than those who did not.” These children also “reported approximately 1 hour less of sleep than those who did not and were more likely to have trouble staying asleep.” Consequently, this group of smartphone-using children experienced a lower quality of sleep–i.e., they were “tired in the morning”–and less likely to eat breakfast.
Another finding of note was that “children who used one form of technology at bedtime were more likely to use more than one device.” For example, if a child watched television at night he or she was also likely texting on their smartphone. The Penn State researchers said this contrasted with other studies that indicated most children “never used more than one type of media at a time.” The researchers said this pointed to the need for additional studies on the “exponential impact on sleep quantity and quality and other health parameters when using multiple devices before bedtime.”
In addition, the researchers said future studies should look at children younger than 8. The researchers noted that many of the parents who came to Penn State’s clinic to participate in the study gave their toddlers and younger children “cell phones or tablets with preloaded games on them to help entertain them while they waited in the doctor’s office.”
Is Your Cancer Connected to Cell Phone Exposure?
There is still much we do not understand about how cellphone usage affects our children’s health. This is not simply a matter of limiting your child’s screen usage before bedtime. Every day our children are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which many studies have linked to the development of cancerous tumors. If you or a child or family member who has developed cancer, and you think cell phone usage may be connected, contact Frasier, Frasier & Hickman LLP today. Our cell phone cancer attorneys can review your case and help you take the appropriate legal action. Call us today at (918) 584-4724 to schedule a consultation.