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Cell phones have become the fifth necessity of life in addition to food, clothes, shelter and medications. As she is recovering in a hospital from delivering a baby, a postpartum mother usually has to contact her family, cousins and friends by using her cell phone brought with her to the hospital. After finishing her communication through the cell phone, the mother often leaves or places the cell phone near her newborn infant, especially near the infant’s head without being aware of the biological effects of electromagnetic radiation emitting from a cell phone to her newborn infant. Currently, children have been proven to absorb more radiated electromagnetic energy from cell phones than adults. The younger the child is, the deeper the absorbed electromagnetic radiation from cell phone can penetrate into his brain tissues. Thus, the newborn infants whose skull sutures and fontanelles are still wide and open, are definitely at the greater risk for absorbing much more electromagnetic radiations deeply into the brain tissues.
Today, the long-term health effects of electromagnetic radiation emitting from a cell phone are not clearly established. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, a part of the World Health Organization, has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). While waiting for research on whether or not electromagnetic radiations affect newborn babies’ health in the long run, nurses should prevent danger to helpless newborn babies during this ambiguious period. These newborn babies have the right to grow up and develop within the safe environment without any possible adverse health effects of electromagnetic radiation emitting from a cell phone. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Thus, at this time, the safety management of using a cell phone according to precaution principles seems to be the best practice. Nurses practicing in the postpartum unit that allows mothers and their newborns to stay together 24 hours a day need to teach mothers how to use their cell phones appropriately in order to prevent a potential health risk that may impact newborns caused by electromagnetic radiation as a result of their mothers’ using cell phones.
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