There is only scarce research evidence on children and mobile phones, and it is not easy to get more – in research ethical sense, children are a special group, which is why the intended study must be very well-founded. Research evidence is neither available on young people’s using habits of mobile phones. Studies have been made with young test animals but these results are not directly applicable to humans.
Children nevertheless have a special status as mobile phone users, among others, because brains continue to develop even up to 20 years of age. It should also be taken into account that children will have much more time to use mobile phones than adults today who started their regular mobile phone use only about ten years ago. The risk of long-term use of mobile phones cannot however be assessed with certainty until mobiles phones have been in use for several decades.
On the grounds of the above-mentioned facts, STUK states that it is reasonable to restrict children’s use of mobile phones the following ways:
• Parents are recommended to advice their children to use rather SMS messages than mobile phone calls
• Parents may restrict the number of their children’s mobile phone calls and their duration
• Parents are recommended to guide their children to use a hands-free that minimises the exposure of head significantly. When using a hands-free it is recommended to keep the mobile phone at least a few centimetres away from the body.
• It is not recommended to use mobile phones in weak fields.
STUK does not find it justifiable to totally prohibit children’s use of mobile phones. Mobile phones also create safety because they make children’s communication with parents easier.
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