Are Parents Who Use Cell Phones to Blame for Bad Behavior?

Mothers-to-be who use cell phones seem to put their babies at risk for a host of behavioral issues later in life, according to a recent study. But I wonder if it's more genetic than anything else: maybe those people you see in the grocery store, checking out while they're on their phone, glaring at the check-out person, are just more likely to have bratty children?

It might make more sense. According to the study, exposure to cell phones before birth and afterward may increase a child’s risk for developing certain behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, inattention, and problems getting along with peers. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doesn't have a reason for the findings.

According to them:


"There are theories, but we do not know," says study researcher Leeka Kheifets, PhD, a professor of epidemiology in the UCLA School of Public Health. "Exposure to the fetus is likely to be very low, so it’s unclear how it can influence fetal development."

"But taking some simple precautions to reduce exposure during pregnancy and among children seems prudent. Be aware of your exposure and while the science develops, use precaution,” she tells WebMD. "It is very easy to reduce exposure by keeping your phone away from body and using a hands-free device, so why not do it?"

I'm sure that cell phones aren't good for any of us, but another problem might also be that the people who use cell phones the most perhaps neglect their children. Or maybe they genetically pre-disposed their children toward poor behavior since they have so much of it themselves.

I have seen enough bad cell phone behavior to think radiation isn't the only factor at work here. You don't have to be a scientist to wonder if limiting cell phone usage might be smart for more reasons than just radiation.

The cell phone industry, predictably, denies that cell phone usage is responsible, so maybe they would support my theory. They say:

John Walls, vice president of public affairs at CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group representing the wireless industry, tells WebMD that his group “stands behind the research review by independent and renowned public health agencies around the world which states that there are no known adverse health effects associated with using wireless devices.”

Not surprising. And of course, it isn't just pregnant women who have to worry. Several studies have also shown that men who keep their cell phones in their pocket may risk damaging their sperm. So yeah. Radiation and poor cell phone etiquette do not mix. We might never know the cause, but either way, you're better off just hanging up while you're preggo.

Do you think bad cell phone users have children with behavioral issues?

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