Our Kids’ Brains on Electronics

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Hank D and the Bee

Before Handheld Devices | JoeMohrtoons.com

As a father (I mean “Green Dude”) with three kids, and a woodshop teacher of kids aged 5-12, I’m a strong proponent of keeping kids away from electionics / handheld devices.

We’re meant to use our hands and minds to create, learn and entertain. A child’s boredom is never a reason to cave to their desire for their electronics. I believe most parents justify using electronics as “being okay” because they’re obsessed with devices themselves and, therefore, it must be okay. This older cartoon of mine illustrates my frustration when I hear parents complain that their kids use devices too often.

Cris Rowan—pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, speaker and author—said in a recent Huffington Post article

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.

He went on to list electronics’ impacts to developing brains, delayed development, contribution to obesity and sleep deprivation in addition to mental illness, aggression and something called “digitial dementia.”

kids on electronics
Even more concerning…

In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).

photo via shutterstock.com


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Conscious Parenting, Featured, GD Funny Bone, GD Ticker, Green Dudes, Green Techies, Healthy Living, Natural Health

About the author / 

Green Dude Joe

Joe Mohr has been a freelance cartoonist for the past eight years. His cartoons have been published in/on Yes! Magazine, The Village Voice, Center for Media and Democracy, Treehugger, Greenpeace, Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, EarthDesk, and many other on-line and in print publications. Joe's cartoons were included in the 2013 and 2014 editions of Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year (Pelican Press). For more cartoons, look back at the entire Hank D and the Bee archives.His first children's book ROBOT+BIKE=KITTEN hit the shelves in 2013. Joe has lived in Chicago and Portugal and currently call St Louis home with his wife and three young children. Learn more on his website.

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