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The Evidence Against Mobile Phones For Teenagers

April 27th, 2009 · 1 Comment


The potential dangers of mobile phone usage seem to become greater every time I open a newspaper or read a news report online. No one really knows for certain because we are live guinea pigs for this relatively new technology.

As Dr Gerard Hyland of the University of Warwick in the UK said in an article in The Daily Mail, “If mobile phones were a type of food, they simply would not be licensed because there is so much uncertainty surrounding their safety.”

And yet we hand them to our teenagers like they’re an afternoon snack. We bought our teenager his first mobile phone when he was 12. Compared with many in his year group, he was a late adopter.

He’d been asking for one for years of course because everyone else had one. We resisted because we didn’t think he needed one and because he was costing us enough already.

When we finally relented it was my over-parenting instinct that kicked in first. Once he hit high school he would be taking the bus to school and I wanted him to be able to contact me if anything went wrong.

Dr Hyland, and countless others, have produced scientific reports to show that our teenagers are at risk of suffering headaches, memory loss and sleeping disorders as the result of low intensity radiation caused by mobile phone usage. A UK neurosurgeon, Dr Vini Khurana, told The Independent that “there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours”.

If the medical scare doesn’t get you, then there’s always the risk of financial ruin as too many teenagers rack up phone bills that their parents are forced to pay. Are we the only parents doing the pre-paid thing? That way if our son uses all his credit in the first week, he will have to wait until the following month to use his phone again. They soon learn how to manage their credits.

And how are mobile phones changing the social interactions of our kids? A friend recently explained how she observed her teenage daughter and friends texting each other while watching a video in the same room. Will conversation become a thing of the past?

The evidence against the technology is really starting to add up: medical issues, social issues, financial issues.

We’re obsessed with the safety of our teenagers but which peace of mind do we choose: their potential health long-term or their returning home in one piece in the short term?

It’s the dilemma of our generation of parenting, but one that we may have to face up to sooner rather than later.


Tags: Emergency · Health · Technology

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