Mobile phone health risks for teenagers may not be totally unique. But there are lots of different ways younger people are at risk. They are different from mobile phone health risks for adults. Teenagers have still-developing bodies, minds, and differences in their behaviour.
Anyone over 25 will have at least vague and fuzzy memories of a time before mobile phones were absolutely everywhere. Many of today’s teenagers will have grown up around mobile phones. In a few years time, a new generation will enter their teenage years who have always known smartphones, wifi, and total connectedness.
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So what are the mobile phone health risks for teenagers?
Starting a family might be the last thing on your average teenager’s mind but rising infertility rates put their chances at risk. One in five otherwise healthy young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five have abnormal sperm counts that put them at risk of infertility. Infertility now affects one in 25 men and numbers are increasing every year.
Various factors can affect male fertility including genetics and environmental factors. Mobile phone radiation has been linked to lower sperm counts and male infertility in an increasing number of studies.
It’s not something teenagers are thinking about. But their choices and behaviours today could be affecting their ability to have children in the future.
There are plenty of other mobile phone health risks for teenagers. Mobile phones and screen time have been linked to social, developmental and behavioural difficulties in children and teenagers. Even the mobile phone use by their parents can affect child development.
A Swiss experiment showed that mobile phone use can decrease certain types of memory in teenagers. Call records and memory tests were used. It showed that those with the worst memory also logged the most time talking on their phones. The reason is thought to be that the area of the brain that deals with that particular type of memory is near the right ear. Which is where most people hold their mobile phones.
Social and sleep risks for teenagers
Mobile phones and social media is exposing teenagers to bullying, anxiety, and risking their privacy. “Cyber bullying” is a concept older than the smartphone. But our phones bring the online world much closer and make it more immediate. Keeping in touch with friends is a great use of mobile phones but there is an accompanying dark side. Teenagers are facing an epidemic of loneliness, anxiety, and stress, due at least in part to mobile phones.
There’s been a lot of talk about online privacy recently, with data hacks and security breaches at big companies like Facebook and Google. Some apps have been found to be recording audio, taking photos, and broadcasting locations – all without a users knowledge.
Another huge issue for teenagers is sleep. Their quantity and quality of sleep is being hurt by their mobile phones.
Ideally, teenagers need about nine hours of sleep each night. Their bodies and minds are still developing so that time to rest and recuperate is essential. But the lure of mobile phones – as well as the phones themselves – are keeping teens awake longer. Adults and teens can suffer from sleep deprivation and sleep disorders provoked by their phones.
How can we reduce the risks?
Happily, there are things we can do to reduce mobile phone health risks for teenagers. Limiting their use and keeping them out of the bedroom at night will help. An anti-radiation phone case like WaveWall Universal blocks radiation from reaching the body – radiation that can cause male infertility and affect the brain.