As much as possible, we try to live a non-toxic life as a family. And most of the time that means buying cleaner foods or chemical-free products. But did you know there is another danger, lurking everywhere you go these days? It’s in your child’s libraries and your coffee shops, your home, your vehicle, their school and it follows your family when you travel too. And it’s one that you might not have considered. That danger is Electromagnetic (EMF) Radiation exposure. And as you’ll see, Wifi and autism can be a dangerous combo for your child.
Let’s discuss this danger in detail. We’ll start by defining EMF and what you need to know about the dangers of Wifi.
What is EMF?
First, let’s talk about what EMF is. When you use your electronic devices, like cell phones, computers or TVs, an electric current is generated that creates an extremely low frequency (elf) electromagnetic field or EMF. Devices such as cell phones and tablets also transmit radio frequency signals (RF), when receiving data, text, and calls.
EMF radiation is a form of energy that can alter and impact the environment, impacting your cells and possibly even having negative health effects.
Who is exposed to EMF radiation? Anyone with WiFi or a cell phone, tablet or laptop that transmits and receives data – that means all our children – is exposed to this radiation daily.
The Dangers of EMF
The first time I ever heard about EMF was when I worked in telecommunications. Our engineers told me something back in ‘90s that many are reluctant to hear today: exposure to EMF can cause serious health problems.
At night school, one of my computer science teachers told the class that he investigated EMF for his doctorate and discovered that what comes out of the back of your television can cause illness. He had sage advice: “If you have children, never put their crib on the wall on the same side as the television in the room next door.” Back then, the CDC published that people in certain fields who were exposed to high levels of EMFs in the workplace had higher rates of cancer.
Today, we have studies that show the harm of these all too common fields of radiation. In 2016, U.S. National Toxicology completed a peer-reviewed study proving that increased exposure to RF radiation leads to a higher chance of rare brain and heart cancer. This is one of the largest and most in-depth studies linking cancer and EMF exposure and it is well respected in the scientific community. However, there are many other studies available as well!
If you’re wondering if our children are more vulnerable, the 2012 BioInitiative Report documented the effects of ELF and RF radiation on health. They concluded that these types of radiation have adverse effects on fertility, reproduction, and children under the age of 12. Pretty scary stuff for a mom to hear!
Wifi and Autism
For those of you, like me, with children on the spectrum, you may be nervous. Our kids benefit quite a bit from their iPads and tablets, and many who struggle with communication can now thrive, thanks to these devices. But what about their Wifi exposure and autism?
Dr. Martha Herbert, well known to some of us in the autism community, has published a peer-reviewed study called, “Autism and EMF? The plausibility of a pathophysiological link, Part I and Part II.” She states that kids with autism are subject to “major weak points” and one of those is EMF. She believes that some of the behaviors apparent in autism, such as meltdowns, can be aggravated by EMF exposure. We are not even sure that it’s not a cause! Autistic children may be even more susceptible to the dangers of Wifi radiation than other children.
7 Ways To Reduce The Dangers of EMF
If you’re now thinking you’d like to toss your phone out the window, stop! That’s too impractical. In fact, by taking some simple measures, you can keep your family safe – and keep your devices. That’s because EMF exposure accumulates. The longer you are exposed and the closer you are to your devices the greater your increased chance of health effects.”
These 7 steps can reduce your autistic child’s exposure to Wifi and protect your family from its dangers today:
1. Plan Your Space
Keep your WiFi router set up as far away as possible from your family living and sleeping areas as possible – like in the garage or basement.
2. Be Safe At Night
Turn off the WiFi at night, every night. Set it up so that it’s easy to accomplish, keeping everything organized and in one place. Make sure not to bring up cell phones and tablets to your bedroom at night.
3. Hardwire Your Tech
Hardwire your computers and big electronics rather than using WiFi. That will allow your family to stay safer while doing work or play.
4. Don’t Add Wifi To Everything
Don’t add more large-scale electronic devices that can’t be hardwired or turned off to your home. (Do you really need that smart, WiFi-connected refrigerator?) You may also want to reconsider any baby monitors you now use.
5. Set Limits For Kids
Limit how much time your child spends on cell phones and tablets. You know you want your kids to be on the phones less – now you have an excellent health reason! Don’t forget to add in the time they are using devices at school.
6. Don’t Get Too Close
Avoid carrying your cell phone on your person too often, using a purse or bag. Use a hands-free headset or put it on the table in a docking station to create some distance when using. Radiation follows the Inverse Square Law of physics and at one foot away from the source, the EMF emissions decreases in strength. So those emissions leaving the mobile device and heading away from you are not as harmful as the ones in direct contact with your body.
7. Use A Radiation Shield
When you or your autistic child can’t avoid Wifi, use EMF radiation shields to limit your family’s exposure.
8. Get Outside …Without Your Phones!
Not that long ago, we all were able to go without answering our phones or getting messages, even for long periods of time. It’s time to start doing that again! The next outdoor event you are sharing with your child, consider leaving your phone at home…or at least in the car, if you are driving! Children on the autism spectrum can get extremely addicted to their technology. I’ve even heard parents now defending that their child “needs” to be on their tech in order to thrive. I believe this is actually doing more harm than good to autistic brains.
Keeping Your Autistic Child Safe From Wi-Fi With Technology
There are plenty of helpful products that can keep your child. They allow some access while shielding your autistic child from the worst dangers of Wi-Fi. Here are a few – and please note, these are my Amazon Affiliate links.
Protection From Your Devices:
If you are interested in wisely using technology, here are some options that are great for kids on the spectrum and keep them safe: Autism Safety Products Guide.