Monday, May 19, 2008

Mobile Phone Use While Pregnant May 'Seriously Damage Baby"

Good grief! A brand new study by American, British, and Russian universities and scientists has found, among other results, that mobile phone use is "not much lower than the risk to children's health from tobacco or alcohol".

What does this mean for soon-to-be moms and stepparents? A couple of things: first, damage to unborn children could be from radiation incurred during the use of the mobile device while mom's pregnant (so the Russians say). And second, the damage could also come from how parenting patterns are affected by mobile phone use, which is the American's contention. The Brits are just confused by the whole study.

Let's look at these factors and see how they may affect your stepfamily. First, regarding the radiation: there have been, for years, alarms going off about the increased microwave radiation which is the result of the rapid growth of cell phone towers across the world. Which only makes sense of a sort. Think of what happens in a microwave oven. High frequency (micro-) waves passing through the food causes the very molecules of the food matter to vibrate, which causes friction of the molecules together, which causes heat, thus cooking the food from the inside out. Cell phone towers send out microwave frequencies with the telephone signals to any and all receivers in range. Cell phones can receive these signals pretty much anywhere these days, which means the microwaves are present pretty much everywhere, right? So, if the phone is in your pocket or purse and it receives the signal (not only of an incoming call, but to update the time and to keep authorities aware of your global position), the receiver is focusing the incoming waves, which must be passing through you to get to the phone. Now, what do the microwaves do to a raw egg placed in the oven? What are they doing to your body? What about a baby inside the person holding the phone? That's sort of what the Russians are saying may be happening to the baby's brain.

The Americans, however in defense for the highly profitable mobile phone industry and convenience above all, say No, that couldn't be the problem, technology is our friend, it could never hurt us. So the problem must be the blame of the mother. (Since, as much of American thought turns these days, parents are the real problem every child must endure.) They posit that Mom, by using her cell phone, is neglecting her child's demands for attention.

Anything there? Well, maybe. How many times have you found yourself distracted by the ringing of that infernal, ever-present phone? We don't even get away from them on vacation or while playing with the kids anymore. And how many times do you see moms in traffic talking on the phone while driving and trying to keep an eye on kids in the back seat? Not you. I mean other people.

This begs the question - how much multi-tasking can even the most efficient mom do without someone suffering from lapses in attention? If your friend is engaged in a rapid-fire discussion with her buddy via the cell phone, how much quality time is junior getting from her? And if that's true of her own flesh and blood, how much easier is it to let her mind wonder from her husband's kids? (... his mind to wonder from his wife's kids?)

And what does that teach our kids about their importance to us versus the importance of the intrusive Phone? Hey! Could that be the reason so many kids today can't be without their pacifier phone? Have they learned from us that the most important relationships are at the other end of a wireless phone?

So where does that leave us? With the Brits, in confusion, I guess. Unless we want to really take a hard look at our behavior and our attitudes toward our families. Maybe we should take this whole damage-to-the-kids study as a wake up call (so to speak) that we need to switch the bloody things off every once in awhile and focus on more important relationships much closer at hand.

"Teach your children well ... and feed them on your dreams," as Crosby and company said. Teach them how to parent fully. So they can repay you someday with the same love you give them.

God bless y'all,
Bobby C

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