There is nothing that is essentially important than a parent seeing his/her children grow healthy and safe. As a parent, you should always be informed so that you can make the best decision so that your children remain safe and healthy. The health and safety of our children become very important, especially when you are using baby monitors. In research about baby monitors, it is revealed that there is some radiation released when you are using the gadget to monitor your child. As a parent, it is a shocking thing to know about baby monitor radiation, but this is not a hopeless one. The truth about the matter is that all wireless baby monitors emit some fractions of radiation. This is known as microwave radiation, which is created when information is being transmitted by the monitor. The emission has no great impact, but it is safe to take necessary precautions for the safety of your baby.
In our plight to understand this issue better about baby monitor radiation, we have to basics of some words that we are going to encounter in this article as we delve deeper into the matter. The following are some of the definitions of the words that are important in this article, as we are frequently used to explain this article.
Radiation refers to the energy released in the form of electromagnetic waves or subatomic particles that moves, and most of the cases, the high-energy particles that result in ionization. This can be in the form of radio waves, x-rays, and visible light.
This is relatively low-energy radiation, which lacks the required energy to ionize atoms or molecules. It is usually found at the lowest end of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the sources include infrared radiation, radio waves, visible light, lasers, and many more.
Microwave refers to an electronic wave, which is a wavelength range between 0.001 and 0.3 and is shorter than a radio wave but quite longer compared to infrared radiation. They are used in communications, radar, and heating in microwave ovens and several industrial processes.
This is the rate per second at which a vibration occurs, resulting in a wave, and it can be in a material (sound waves) or an electromagnetic field (radio waves and light).
This is a term that is commonly used by scientists to refer to the range of frequencies, the spectrum, of electromagnetic radiation and its wavelengths as well as photon energies. Scientists use this term to describe the overall light range that exists. In this case, the electromagnetic radiation is the infrared rays, radio waves, ultraviolet rays, visible light, gamma rays, and X-rays.
How does a wireless baby monitor operate?
A baby monitor is simply a portable device that is used to transfer information. To transfer this information, the wireless baby monitor has to operate in either an analog or digital frequency.
What is an analog baby Monitor
This is a baby monitor that operates on analog radio waves to transmit information from the baby’s room to the speakers in a parent’s room. The transmission is like the FM radio and is usually at a frequency of 40 to 900 MHz. They are popular and available due to the price ad they are more sensitive to the interference by other devices used in your house. They are used to transmit audio and not video. They are categorized as low radiation baby monitors because of the low-frequency signal they carry.
What is a digital baby monitor?
Compared to analog baby monitors, digital baby monitors operate on a higher frequency, which is in the range of 1800 and 2400 MHz. They tend to be quite expensive because they incorporate several types of technologies to transmit information. The information is usually transferred wirelessly and can be through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Sometimes they can use the Digital Enhanced Cordless Communication (DECT) or phone technology. This is because the signal is encrypted to avoid scammers. This, however, doesn’t stop them from suffering interference too, when placed near other devices in the home like routers, wireless phones, or a microwave. They are known to create more emissions.
What Makes a Baby Monitor “Low Emission”?
The safest option of monitoring over your baby is by making your baby monitor. You can achieve if you wire a microphone together with a video camera in the room where your baby is. By this, you are trying to do away with Wi-Fi or to stop using the baby monitor at all.
If it is a must you use the device and you are not in a position to make one on your own, always keep in mind that the lower the radio wave frequency is, the lesser harmful it is to your baby. This means that the lowest radiation baby monitor you can use is the traditional analog baby monitor. This is because it operates on approximately 49 MHz, which translates to around .049 GHz. It is, therefore, lower compared to digital baby monitors that operate on 2.45 GHz. Analog baby monitors are fewer as many companies don’t manufacture them anymore due to advancements in technology. And as earlier mentioned, they require higher frequencies to bring out additional convenient features.
Alternatively is to buy a baby monitor that has the Eco-Mode feature. This feature is capable of blocking all RF Radiation emissions from the baby monitor if it is turned on. Radiation won’t be emitted at all when the baby is still or quiet.
Is there a safe level of radiation for a baby?
In the past, most of our parents used AM-FM radios to listen to music, news, and favorite programs, and they had no issues with them at all. This is because the radio had very low frequencies that could affect our health. It is logical in everyone’s life that it is dangerous living near a radio tower. There are a lot of active biological frequencies that are received from the digital device. These frequencies, therefore, have a great impact on our bodies if we get exposed to them. For the digital baby monitor to transmit heavier frequencies, it has to create microwave radiation continuously. When using this digital baby monitor, the parent and the baby are exposed to these microwave radiation. This is because both ends of the baby monitor are releasing this radiation.
What’s the Expert Opinion on This?
During the 2011 research, it was revealed by the experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that any kind of radiofrequency can be linked to the cause of cancer. During this research, the experts did mention that wireless radiation was classified as a class B carcinogen. Their research revealed that an adult who had previously been exposed to a wireless device as a teen had four times more risks of acquiring a brain tumor.
To be precise, radiation that has a B carcinogen classification consists of familiar elements like lead, ethylbenzene, and chloroform. It is worth noting that the microwave radiation that is emitted from the wireless baby monitor falls in the same category to those received from a cell phone tower, which is at 500 feet away than the baby monitor that is 3 feet away. This means that there is no safe level of exposure. However, it depends so much on how much the baby is exposed to the device that can determine its safety.
What are the Dangers and Health Side Effects of Radiation?
The baby monitor has been found to create more radiation when it sends more information from the baby to the parent. Baby monitors emit non-ionizing radiation, and it has two kinds of effects on the body. They include thermal and non-thermal effects. Non-Ionization radiation has been known not to pass through the body tissues but is believed to increase the chances of damaging the skin. It can cause what is called localized heating, or there can be an occurrence of photochemical reactions that can bring about permanent harm to the body.
When the baby monitor sends more information to the parent in another room, it creates more radiation. Some baby monitors have been uniquely manufactured with amazing features like temperature ad breathing sensors. Some can stream HD video images and able to control cameras automatically. With such features, they work at higher frequencies compared to Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, and wireless phones in your house. This explains how harmful it is to our bodies.
When the baby monitor is on, it produces a lot of microwave radiation in a continuous process. As a result of this, the microwaves affect brain growth, immune, sleep, and the baby’s reproductive system. The baby’s brain is highly sensitive to these microwave radiation as it is still growing at this tender age until the age of 20 years.
The long-term effect of microwave radiation on brain development has not yet been established by scientists and experts. The research, however, has revealed that memory can be impaired and can cause hyperactivity when exposed to wireless radiation.
The Thermal Effect of Non-Ionizing Radiation
The thermal effect can be observed in the same angle as what the microwave does to the food when it is heating it. This is the same logic here the effect it has on the baby of anyone is exposed to the device. It simply means that the body tissues are being heated up by the radiation.
What is the Safe Amount of Radiation That Can be absorbed by the Body?
The baby monitor is believed to be safe when it creates an amount of radiation that is below 1.6 watts per kilogram. This is the safe amount of radiation the body can absorb. This is according to the Federal Communications Commission. However, the absorption rate is termed to be a false sense of security.
How is the FCC Calculating this?
The safe rate was created way back in 1993, and by this time, there was minimal exposure to wireless radiation as compared to what is experienced in modern days. Nowadays, there are a lot of devices that we use during the day. There was a study that was conducted in 1996, which revealed that children have high exposure to wireless devices as compared to adults. Children have a thinner skull, and the radiation, therefore, has less resistance before it reaches the brain. It becomes more critical when it comes to a newborn baby; the harm is higher than you can ever imagine.
There is also a non-thermal effect on radiation.
The radiation effect has been associated with kidney damage, cancer, and development interference. Besides, it has also been linked to dysfunction of the immune system, reproductive system, and the nervous system. This is according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine experts. Compared to the thermal effect, there isn’t a guideline or any measure regarding the non-thermal effect. There isn’t much about it, and this is so critical.
5 Solutions To Limit The Radiation Exposure
After going through this article, you might be getting nervous about the dangers of having a baby monitor. As a cautious parent, this is normal, but as far as how the technology has impacted our lives, we have to live with these devices. These wireless devices like the baby monitor are useful in one way or the other in our lives, but some measures have to be undertaken for us, our babies be on the safer side. The following are some ways of protecting your baby from the dangers of baby monitor radiation:
1.Use the Baby Monitor Only when it is needed
Many times as parents have been found in the vicious circle of making the baby monitor n all day and night affair. It has become a routine with some parents to use baby monitors even when the baby’s room is just next to your room. I don’t think if it is necessary to use the device when the rooms are next to each other. When the baby’s room is next to your room, you can hear any movements and noise without using the baby monitor.
A baby monitor should, therefore, be used on special occasions like when you have friends around, and the noise in the leaving room can deter you from hearing when the baby needs your attention. You can also use it when listening to music or watching television when you have traveled, or you are engaged in house chores, and the baby is the room sleeping. There is no worry if you are using the baby monitor once in a while.
2.Use Voice Activation
You can protect your baby from baby monitor radiations if you use voice-activated monitors. This kind of baby monitor is designed only to transmit sound and emit radiation upon sensing noise from the room of the baby. Therefore there is a big reduction in the microwave radiation amount your baby can be exposed to. However, not all voice-activated monitors work similarly. It is worth knowing that a good one shouldn’t emit radiation without broadcasting. Some of the baby monitors are designed to block all unnecessary noises, which are also known as white noise. It is, therefore, important to be cautious when buying them.
3.Hardwired Baby Monitor
Using a hardwired baby monitor is so far, the best method of monitoring your baby without incurring radiation. Hardwired baby monitors have zero-emission, and yet you can monitor your baby effectively even through a video functionality. The data from the camera you are using on a wired baby monitor are transmitted through the Ethernet cable as opposed to the baby monitor’s microwave antenna, which is so powerful. The watch it from the laptop or phone. The advantage of using this type of baby monitor is that you and your baby are operating in an environment that is free from the microwave. However, the device is not portable if you happen to travel and want to use it elsewhere.
4.Find the Low Emission Baby Monitors
Buying a low radiation baby monitor is another effective way of protecting your baby from radiation. If you are prompted to use a baby monitor daily and need to keep on moving with it everywhere you go to monitor your baby, then it is highly recommended to adopt the analog one. This type emits the lowest radiation because they have the lowest frequency band. The best one should be around 40 MHz and not 2400 MHz, which is with the latest and modern baby monitors. This means that you will have to do away certain features. Even though the audio quality might be up to par and the signal not as powerful as you would wish, it has less impact on the health of your baby.
5.Use RF Radiation Protection Items
RF shielding is another term that is used in electromagnetic shielding, which blocks any electromagnetic radiation. RF radiation shielding usually reduces the amount of coupling radio waves, electrostatic fields, and electromagnetic fields as they act as a baby monitor interface. You can use a conductive enclosure to block electrostatic fields. One of the items you can use in this case includes the Steel Mesh Waste Basket. This mesh container has enough space where you can stick the baby monitor. There is also enough distance for the air to circulate the baby monitor. You can as well use the Steel Condiment Caddy; these items, when used correctly, can protect your baby from RF Radiation.
Should You Still Buy a Baby Monitor?
Sufficient research carried out by experts have described clearly the dangerous effects of radiation the baby monitor has over the lives of our babies. However, some medical practitioners believe that there shouldn’t be any alarm about the whole issue of the radiation, causing brain tumors. On the same matter, a radiation oncologist indicated that there shouldn’t be a panic amongst parents using baby monitors, not unless they are in the way of a multi-megawatt microwave beam, which literally will cook you. A common analogy that has been used by most of the baby monitor sellers is that there hasn’t been any evidence to support the argument that EMFs have health effects. This is not the case as the radiations in the baby monitor are non-ionizing.
Are Voice-Activated Baby Monitors a Solution?
A lot of innovations have been on the rise in ways of lowering levels of emissions in baby monitors. Europe is at the forefront of these innovations with the manufacture of voice-activated baby monitors. These types of baby monitors are activated by only voice and noise. As compared to other types of baby monitors like the DECT and FHSS, which emit a high level of microwave radiations, voice-activated baby monitors only emit radiation when there is noise. On the other hand, DECT and FHSS type on have a continuous radiation emission as long as they are powered on. When the baby is sleeping normally, there is low or no radiation emission. In general, the voice-activated baby monitor still emits radiations, and this is the tricky part of it, whether it is the solution or not.
Baby Monitor Articles and Studies
1.Dr. Magda Havas
Dr Havas is a leading expert when it comes to biological effects radiation has on grownups and children. Dr. Havas has a stern warning on parents who are using baby monitors against the dangers of the technology in modern baby monitors. Dr. Havas reiterated that Bluetooth, DECT technology, and Wi-Fi have the latest pulsing digital frequencies and are undoubtedly biologically active to our bodies.
2.World Health Organization
The IARC, cancer division of the World Health Organization, declared in 2011 that any radio frequency is capable of causing cancer. Dr. Havas relied on this statement to back up the sentiments of avoiding the use of video baby monitors, which use the DECT technology or Wi-Fi on our babies.
3.U.S National Library of Medicine
The level of radiation emitted by the microwave is the same as that which is from the baby monitor. This means that the same level of radiation is received by the baby when the baby monitor is in use. The U.S National Library of Medicine research outlined the possibility of a correlation between autism and being exposed to radiation.
4.American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics had an article published which was titled ‘The Sensitivity of Children to Electromagnetic Fields.’ The article indicated that there was a lasting health problem to a baby who was exposed to the baby monitor that emits such radiations. The article suggested that there was a possibility of a child acquiring leukemia due to the high-level exposure of ELF magnetic fields.
5.Consumer Product Safety Commission
Scientific research has indicated that there is a long-term effect on the health of a child who is exposed to baby monitors that emit radiation. The government of Switzerland has raised a warning to parents against exposing their babies to baby monitors that emit radiation. The government has also come on ways of encouraging parents to keep the baby monitor at least a meter away from where the baby’s crib is. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, issued a warning in 2012 about babies being strangled with monitor cords, but it never mentioned any risks of radiation.
To wrap up, it is worth knowing that everything that comes our way is not always in our favor. Although using a baby monitor can be helpful in our daily life, it should be used in moderation. Before you can decide whether it is necessary to have a baby monitor or not, look out on its side effects, especially the impact it has over your baby in a long-time scenario. Some things happen slowly, but the results come out in the latter stages of our lives. This is the case with the baby monitor that emits radiation. It is not necessary to use the baby monitor all the time. If it is a must you use it, make sure that it is in a safe distance away from your baby’s crib. When not in use, make sure you switch it off so that you don’t make it a habit of using it.