Digital Wellness for Kids
It's an almost-daily ritual: bundling up our children and sending them off to school. They’ll likely be kitted up with the latest technology and a new pair of shoes as they head off and learn, increasingly via digital devices, to become our next generation of young adults.
Tech-filled learning environments, particularly in the upper junior and senior years, plus digital social interactions have become the norm for our youth. Any signs of relinquishing our devices and high speed communications are far from their idea of a future world. The often-unconsidered fact is that these convenient devices and high frequency networks are with us to stay and are constantly exposing us, not only to artificial blue light, but to non-native electromagnetic frequencies (nnEMFs or EMFs). The type of EMF of particular concern with smart technology is electromagnetic radiation, known also as EMR. This relentless exposure is nothing like our bodies have seen before and can have adverse effects on our health and the health of our children who, unlike their parents, are subjected to a lifetime of exposure from birth. Studies have shown that a developing child’s brain is vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation and there are also studies showing a link between EMR exposure and fertility problems.
It is often difficult to raise the conversation about digital wellness with our children. It is, however, an important conversation worth having, and there are some easy habits and guidelines to encourage to make using technology as safe as possible.
Check out our 5 tips below for reducing EMR and blue light exposure from devices.
5 Tips for Reducing EMR and Blue Light Exposure from Devices
1. Keep mobile phones, tablets and laptops away from your body
Distance is a key factor in reducing exposure to EMR and should be the first line of defence. EMR abides by the rules of the Inverse Square Law of Physics. In a nutshell, this law states that, as we double our distance from a source of EMR, such as a phone or laptop, we quarter our exposure to it. So, any distance you can achieve from your device will dramatically reduce your exposure.
Limit the amount of time you spend talking on the phone with it held up to your ear, and opt to use the speaker function or text instead. You can even use a touch screen pen to reduce your EMR exposure even further.
For those times when distance is not possible, it is worth considering an EMR protection pouch or case. Here at Grounded Wellness, we have a wide range of EMR protection solutions available for iPhones, Samsung phones, Universal phone cases, tablets and laptops. If you need help to match your phone with the perfect fit, we've put together a helpful Phone Fit Cheat Sheet to help get you on your way.
2. Ditch the bluetooth
As on-trend and convenient as wireless headsets and earbuds might be, they are a very high emitter of EMR, as they use bluetooth to connect the device to the headset.
Replace bluetooth headsets, and even traditional wired headsets, with EMR-free AirTube headsets. AirTube headsets work by transmitting the sound from the device to your ear via a hollow tube of air, which essentially creates the all-important distance between your head, ear and brain and the source of EMR. This is all without affecting the quality of sound.
3. Make the most of airplane mode
Airplane mode is not just for airplanes! Using the airplane mode function is a safer way to use your devices. If you don't need WiFi or data connectivity, switch the WiFi function off, and the device to airplane mode, whenever possible to cut all signal connectivity and therefore dramatically reduce the level EMR emitted from your device. It is still possible to watch downloaded videos and play downloaded games in airplane mode. This is a particularly important habit to teach children. Knowing how to reduce EMR exposure from devices for your children and teaching them how to do it themselves is now more important than ever.
4. Filter out the blue light
Technology is getting brighter and we should be careful going forward, especially as our children grow. It’s better to take a precautionary approach and limit our exposure to light, as prevention is always better than cure. Reducing exposure by reducing either intensity or time can decrease the risk of retinal damage through life. Children under 10 are at greater risk than adults to UV because their lens and cornea do transmit a considerable amount of UV.
We can filter harmful blue light with screen filters and blue light filtering lenses in glasses. These blue light solutions can reduce blue light reaching the retina. Grounded Wellness has a range of blue light filtering glasses designed especially for kids. We also recommend choosing your light sources wisely. Opt for healthy light bulbs, and lamps in your home and work environment that will reduce the amount of artificial blue light you spend time with. Reducing blue light decreases the light that is scattered most, decreasing glare and increasing contrast, thereby improving image quality and reducing eye fatigue.
5. Keep the bedroom clear of devices
Sleep is fundamental to our overall health, and bedtime is a time for rest and rejuvenation, particularly for the developing bodies and brains of our young family. Creating a tech-free zone in bedrooms not only removes the EMFs, it also removes the temptation for digital distraction, allowing the mind, body and soul some downtime.
Furthermore, studies have shown that exposure to artificial blue light at night disrupts our circadian rhythm and suppresses the production of the 'sleep hormone' melatonin. Exposure to blue light at night tells our body that it is still daytime and melatonin is not produced. This makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep and stay asleep and is a major factor in the sleep problems we are seeing in our children and teenagers. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) recommends that devices are not used in the hour leading up to bedtime to ensure a restful and plentiful sleep.
We also recommend checking out our range of blue light-free healthy lighting, including blue light-free bedside lamps and book lights, to help with reducing blue light exposure at night.
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