Children whose mothers used their mobile phones more than four times a day during pregnancy are more likely to be hyperactive, study reveals

Alexandra Thomas
The Daily Mail

Children whose mothers frequently spoke on their mobile phones while pregnant are more likely to be hyperactive.

Youngsters aged five to seven are 28 per cent more likely to suffer if their mothers spoke on a mobile four times, or for over an hour, a day while expecting.

Children whose mothers never used a mobile phone while pregnant have the lowest risk of behavioural or emotional problems.  

This may be due to the radio waves, known as electromagnetic radiation, given off by mobile phones, which has uncertain health implications.

Scientists from across the world analysed over 83,884 mother-children pairs based in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Korea from 1996 to 2011.

Although the results raise concerns, experts warn they should be interpreted with caution.

Dr. Robin Hansen, pediatrician, University of California said: ‘Is it something about the cellphone itself? Is it something that impacts your parenting behaviour?

Is it the electronic signals that go through your brain and your body or how it changes your interactions with your child postnatally?’

She adds children who feel ignored by their parents may be excessively active in order to get the attention they crave.

Dr Hansen said: ‘It’s not until you cry or you throw something or make a lot of noise, that your parents shift their attention from the cellphone to you.

‘It reinforces hyperactive, attention-getting behaviour.’

This comes after researchers from Indiana University found taking antidepressants while pregnant does not increase a child’s risk of attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD).

ARE MOBILE PHONES SAFE?

Around 93 per cent of adults in the UK own a mobile phone.

Most research suggests the radio waves they give off are safe.

Yet, this is only based on findings from the past 20 years.

Any longer-term health risks are unknown.

Reduce your exposure by:

  • Only using your phone when necessary
  • Keeping calls short
  • Using a hands-free kit

Source: NHS Choices 

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