By Uma Sivanathan

During our families’ Father’s Day celebration at the beach, I observed a young mother plunk her naked 3-year-old on a blanket with an iPad on his lap. She had set him up with a game and both were very happy. How convenient this electronic babysitter is!

But, something didn’t feel quite right to me, so I set about researching the health risks of exposing children to low frequency radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices.

I found out radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure on children has been linked to childhood brain cancer, autism, ADHD, insomnia, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, impaired growth, poor memory and learning.

We are living in a technological age. We can’t avoid radiation from wireless electronic devices and cell phone towers completely, but “less is best” especially around babies, children and teenagers who have developing brains and bodies. Radiation penetrates much faster into children’s cells because they are filled with more fluid than adult’s cells. See American Academy of Pediatrics.

Studies show that a mother’s use of cell phones and wireless technologies during pregnancy can lead to autism, increased hyperactivity, learning disorders and behavioral problems in her child. From 1970 to 2015, the autism rate has risen from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 166!  See research of Dr. Dietrick Klinghardt.

What is disconcerting is that cellphones and iPads were never initially tested for their safety before being offered to the public.

This is important to understand: Just because we can’t feel anything doesn’t mean that we are not being affected by RF’s and EMF’s.

Here is a list of ways we can help shield ourselves and our family members from the soup of radiation that we live in today.

Cellphone safety — easy steps to reduce cell phone radiation exposure by 95 percent:

  1. Don’t use the phone next to your head. Use a speakerphone and place the phone on a surface at least 1 foot away from you. Using a cell phone next to the head has been shown to increase risks of brain cancer by 8 percent every year, make blood-brain barrier permeable, which lets toxins enter the brain and cause symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  2. Put it on “airplane mode” when not in use, especially while driving or when carrying it on the body. The radiation from carrying it on your body has been linked to various cancers, heart conditions and reproductive issues.

As an example, a dear friend of ours is having unexplainable pain in his chest at night and heart palpitations during the day. Twice, he had tests done and was told by physicians he has a strong heart and nothing is wrong. He has kept his phone “on” in his pocket while working for 15 years. He is finding relief by keeping his phone on “airplane mode” as much as possible, especially if he needs to carry it.

Some people want to keep their phone on all the time. There are great shielding cell phone cases, offered at and

  1. Disable LTE and 4G. Your phone will automatically connect to the nearest 3G network, which can cut down the radiation exposure from the phone by 84 percent.
  2. Avoid using the phone when reception is bad. Using the phone when reception signal bars are at 1 out of 5 ramps up its power to connect to distant phone towers, causing the phone to emit 10 to 1,000 times the amount of radiation.
  3. When texting and doing other things on the phone, remember the one-foot-away-from-the-body guideline. Using it in front of your tummy area has been linked to health challenges in the gut and reproductive system.
  4. Scientific data reveals that fetuses are at the greatest risk from RF and EMF. Pregnancy is the perfect time to stop using the phone next to the body. If using a laptop close to the belly, use an EMF-shielding blanket found at
  5. Wired land phones at home (not cordless) emit much less radiation and can be the best option for reduced exposure. Cell phone calls can be forwarded to the land phone.

A low EMF bedroom:

  1. Put your cell phone on “airplane mode” while sleeping. Or keep it “on” in its safe case. Make sure the Bluetooth and WiFi icons are disabled.

Studies show that high EMF in the bedroom can reduce our production of melatonin, one of our key sleep hormones.

  1. Unplug everything electronic from the bedroom wall. A good solution is to turn off the circuit breaker to the bedroom at night.

Baby monitors:

Uma Sivanathan

Baby monitors emit the same microwave radiation as our smartphones. Evidence shows that this can cause difficulty sleeping and moodiness. Some options are the Smart/Nova Baby Monitor and the D-Link Ethernet enabled camera.

Teach moderation:

  1. Download movies and games, hitting the “airplane mode” button. Restrict use to a specified amount of time. Having one of the safe cases listed above greatly reduces exposure to the child.
  2. Educate teens. The smartphone can mess up their sleep and increase risks of brain cancer and depression. Teach teens not to carry their phone on their body, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Uma Sivanathan is the founder and president of the nonprofit Mana‘olana Center for Health and Healing, and can be contacted at


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