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Harm to smartphones for children: scientists demand to ban mobile phones in Russia in junior classes

We figure out how to build relations with the heirs of gadgets and whether smartphones are harmful to children.

– Come on, play it! – and into the hands of a three-year-old the joyfully descends the tablet. Tiny fingers fly on the glass, as if by Denis Matsuev on the keys of the piano. Moving pictures, music is bubbling. The little boy is focused.

And my dad, having taken a child, went deep into his own correspondence in the social network.

Now the kids master the management of gadgets before they start reading. Yes, what is there to read? Some still poorly speaking people let out a roar when they take away the device.

But do papa and moms think about the consequences of integration of the child and the smartphone (tablet)? Usually this question is answered by psychologists and teachers. I invited Oleg Grigoriev, chairman of the Russian National Committee for Protection from Non-Ionizing Radiation, to the conversation. Is smartphones harmed for children?

From 3 to 17 years – the most dangerous time

– Oleg Alexandrovich, from your point of view, is there a difference in the influence of mobile phones, computers on the child and on the adult? The radiation is the same …

– Any growing organism is more sensitive to all external factors, not only to the radiation of electromagnetic fields. Tissues of the child’s body with equal irradiation receive a large dose of electromagnetic energy.

– Explain.

– Imagine the head of a child and an adult in the form of balls. The area is smaller and the radiation is the same. It is clear that in this case the child receives a larger dose than an adult.

Moreover, the current children begin to be irradiated at an early age. The current adults – those who are over 40 years old – are irradiated by electromagnetic fields only from the age of 20 when our generation began to encounter computers.

As early as 1895, the Russian professor Danilevsky experimentally showed that the main target of the electromagnetic field is the nervous system. The child’s nervous system is very sensitive to the influence of the external electromagnetic field at the stage of development and formation.

“From what age?”

– Starting from 3-4 years and practically up to 17 years.

“Disease of both small and old”

“Our sanitary standards for mobile communications were issued in 2003,” Grigoriev continues. – So it was already written then that it is not recommended for children under 18 to use cellular communication.

And now children and mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.

And this despite the fact that children during training and are subject to hypodynamia, they have great training loads. World Health Organization today protects the younger generation from the effects of electronics makes a separate task.

“Is such protection possible at all?” Parents give their children mobile phones almost from infancy. Tablets with developing toys and cartoons – from one and a half years.

– It all depends on the dose. If you give a gadget from 10 am to 10 pm – it is clear that the benefits of developing games that are installed on it will be very doubtful. The child is simultaneously affected by several factors: electromagnetic radiation, the visual analyzer is loaded, light from the screen that includes the ultraviolet spectrum acts on it. But if the device is given in a dosed and controlled manner, if the child is taught to use it correctly, it will be useful.

– What does it mean to use it correctly? Children see how adults themselves sit in smartphones from morning to evening!

– Yes, it is a disease of both small and old. Scientists and the state must inform everyone about the dangers of gadgets. And to start such information campaign in school, to teach to use sensibly electronic devices within the framework of the school program. This should happen in the same way as information about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol now spreads, propaganda of an active, healthy lifestyle is under way.

Boundaries of the reasonable

– Oleg Alexandrovich, you are a scientist – then formulate what is the “boundary of the reasonable” in this case, is there a specific expression?

– SanPiNs were developed quite a long time ago. And they require adaptation.

– Well, yes, they were developed when bulky monitors with a cathode-ray tube stood on the tables.

– Then there was quite another radiation. But it was studied. And the new technology, which is now everywhere, has not been studied in this way.

“But can you understand how much a child can be in front of a laptop screen today?”

– If he is under 10 years old, then more than an hour a day – it will be unreasonable. Until the age of approximately the end of the formation of the body – that is, up to 15-16 years, I think the limit is 2-2.5 hours.

– And what, in your opinion, reasonable boundaries when using a smartphone?

– If we talk about the mode of conversation, and at this moment the radiation is maximum, then no more than 15 minutes a day. Adults can talk for two hours. In general, the use of cellular phones by pregnant women and children under 18 is not recommended. This is written in the sanitary norms.

If we talk about the use of a smartphone as a device for communication, for games, here I can recommend switching it into an aviation mode when there is no connection with the base station.

– So the children also sit in chats, correspond in messengers, play. Well if there is Wi-Fi. And if it is not – use mobile Internet, which is distributed by cellular operators. How here to include the aviation regime?

“I will not say anything else, except what I told you.” When a child looks at the screen of a smartphone, his body experiences a very heavy load. Look at the statistics on sight in children completing school. Virtually no children with normal vision. From year to year, there is an increase in the neurodegenerative processes of the central nervous system, which are also associated with the action of these factors.

The effect of the electromagnetic field is differently formed by the nervous system. Cognitive functions are depressed. And this means that the child decides to solve the problems worse, the writing is worse, the texts remember worse. Generation, which got electronic technology in its hands even at zero age, now come to study in universities. Any rector will say that his ability to study is lower than that of previous generations.

Is the computer at school evil?

– Let’s talk about the computerization of schools. I know that you think the availability of such devices in educational institutions is also not good.

– We experienced a childhood illness of consumption, when someone did not have jeans, someone has computers. Now all the schools have bought computers. A lot of. The question arose: why? What to do about it? Teachers understood the problem before everyone. In computer classes, children are now in such conditions, which, rather, are characteristic for production facilities. And for specialists who are in such conditions, we have sanitary norms foreseeing control over the conditions, and monitoring the state of health. Only in school this is not done.

The second. A new trend is the rejection of paper textbooks, the transition to electronic ones. How in this case to limit the “communication” with the tablet one hour? Hygienists are now resisting such innovations. And they do it right.

– But the transition to e-learning is an international trend.

– I can not agree. President of France Macron, when he participated in the elections, designated the limitation of modern technologies in schools as the fourth point of his program. And he fulfilled the promise. In all educational institutions of the country up to the third class all electronic equipment is prohibited – Wi-Fi, computers, smartphones. Use is allowed only in high school and then under very strict control. And cell phones since February 1, 2017 in general in the French school are banned. Teachers, if they seek voluntary refusal of class students from smartphones, receive a substantial surcharge to pay.

About lobbyists

– Countries in which technology is booming are already faced with the quality of people leaving schools equipped for the very outset of technology, – says Grigoriev. – It seems that everything was given, the investments are very serious, and there is no breakthrough in quality of people. Moreover, they understand that in 10-15 years their health will be such that no less investment will have to be done in their treatment. If we “crush” students with digital technology, there is a great chance to get people of working age who are unable to meet the challenges of the modern economy simply for health reasons.

– Do you think that in Russia you can achieve a ban on mobile phones, even in a junior school? We have very strong lobbyists. And cellular companies belong to influential businessmen.

“I am absolutely sure that you can.” The Council of Federation held hearings on this topic last summer and we received support. The issue was also discussed in the State Duma Health Committee.

– So recommendations can be adopted soon?

– We hope that it will be so. All specialists and politicians are only “for”. There are two programs in the school – “Digital Environment” and “New School”. Discusses how to limit the use of electronic devices in these programs. But so that at the same time the educational results formulated in the programs were achieved.


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