Cell phones. They are becoming so popular in society that our kids can’t seem to go a minute without them. It feels like kids are on them all the time with their faces just dug in them. When you try to talk to them about their day at dinner, they’re on them. When you are in the car, they’re on them. Even when you are at a relative’s house, they’re on them. Phones are definitely distracting, and what they can do to a kid’s development may be shocking. Here is a list of some of the negative effects phones can have on kids:

Health Hazard
A study from the American Medical Association was conducted about how phones can affect our bodies, mainly from its radiation. One effect was the possibility of developing non-malignant tumors in the brain and ears. Holding the phone next to the head can cause this, so it may be in a parent’s best interest for kids to use earphones or put their phones on speakerphone mode. The worst effects of phones may be related to cancer for kids. Children’s brains are less developed than adults’, and they are twice as likely to be exposed to carcinogens than adults are. Lastly, phones may affect the brain as well. Only 2 minutes of a phone call can alter their brain’s electrical activity for up to an hour because of the phone’s radio waves. Again, encourage your kids to use earphones or have them put their phones on speakerphone to avoid these problems.

Decreased Academic Performance
Many parents feel that their children are addicted to their phones, and CNN reports that this number can be as high as 59%. Teenagers are easily distracted by things like their phones, social media, devices, and TVs. Not only do phones cause sleep deprivation, they also decrease academic performance. A study by the London School of Economics showed that test scores improved by an average of 6.4% when schools banned phones completely. What is the worst part of phones in academics is the distraction they pose to kids in the classroom. Almost one-third of kids text daily in class, and kids who are addicted to their phones and are sleep deprived score worse than average than those who are not.

Potential Worse Behavior
Teens that are addicted to their phones are more likely to engage in worse behavior. Texting inappropriate pictures to each other may be an increasing problem. 22% of teenage girls and 18% of teenage boys have sexted before, and this is probably accentuated by cell phone addiction. Being addicted to phones can also make kids more exposed to cyberbullying and online predators. Almost 43% of kids have been cyberbullied, and 87% of kids have admitted that they have been mean or cruel to someone else on the internet. Regarding online predators, there are around 750,000 of them online everyday. Around 20% of teenagers will receive unwanted sexual solicitation from the internet, and phones are a big medium for this through social media.

Even though many adults may complain about their kids being addicted to their phones, the complaint is not completely one-sided. Almost 70% of adults use their phones at meals, and 54% of kids feel that their parents check their devices too often. Another 32% of kids feel “unimportant” around their parents when they are using their devices, and this feeling can definitely cause kids to feel neglected by their parents. This problem is especially worse for younger kids since they require more attention than older ones. Parents, stay away from your phones around your kids.

Overall, phones can definitely be a problem for kids. Some problems like phone addiction leading to worse grades are to be expected, but kids feeling neglected by their parents because of phones is an unexpected consequence. Phones are great, but children should not be on them constantly.

Author's Bio: 

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.