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Are Cell Phones, Ipads and Laptops Okay for Young Kids?

By Jodie Lynn
www.ParentToParent.com



QUESTION:

Our son is in kindergarten and most of the kids in his class have a cell phone, iPad or their own laptop. We have never seen anything like this and are trying to wait until our son is at least nine before getting him his own phone, etc. How are we supposed to compete with the current influx of five- and six-year-olds having access to and/or already owning all of these electronic gadgets? We were under the impression that cell phones were not healthy for children younger than ten. What is the most current word on this?

ANSWER FROM READER:

We did some research on cellular phones for children under the age of eight, since our kids are six and seven, and found that there is nothing to support the cause of cancer. My husband and I both work and our kids go to an after school childcare program for around two-and-a-half hours each day. There are many choices of activities but some of them are outside. We have visited from time to time and found that just like inside, the bullies are outside too and unfortunately, there's just not enough teachers or volunteers to keep a watchful eye on all of the after school kids. Therefore, we felt compelled to get the kids cell phones just so they could call us if they felt uncomfortable in any situation. It provides them the confidence that they can participate in whatever and still be safe and can call or text us anytime. - R. and T. K. in San Francisco, CA

FROM JODIE:

It used to be that kids were getting cell phones at around the age of ten. Now, it's gone all the way down to age five. If you look up how a cell phone actually works, you can get a better idea of how the concern started. It's the amount of the RF (radio frequency) waves/energy that the American Cancer Society was concerned with compared to the SAR (specific absorption rate). There's also the amount of time kids were actually talking on a phone, their age and the model. So far, it's that different models have different levels and each phone can be checked. See cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cellular-phones to read more on this very interesting topic. Also, check out cbsnews.com/news/kids-with-cell-phones-how-young-is-too-young/ for another great article combined with a video pertaining to kids and cell phones. As far as laptops and iPads, commercials and printed ads are bombarding parents to begin buying these to ensure a possibly smarter and more creative baby, toddler and child. However, experts are concerned with the high potential of negative outcomes regarding today's technology situations among kids, especially young children. Among them are too much time spent focusing on digital entertainment that takes away from human touch and interaction, one on one human communication, emotions and compassion for learning lifelong skills. With this in mind, make the right decision for your own family, avoid trying to do what everyone else is doing and make time to spend with your son and do normal kid/family things.

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CAN YOU HELP?

My three-year-old daughter was potty trained until I started working. The childcare facility is very disappointed with the situation. What can I do to help her feel more comfortable where she will start using the potty again?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including eDiets.com, KeepKidsHealthy.com, ClubMom.com, BabyUniverse.com, CatholicMom.com, MainStreetMom.com and MommiesMagazine.com. Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit www.ParentToParent.com for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.

 

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