Get Those Wireless Baby Monitors OUT of the Nursery!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist November 30, 2012

baby monitors

Are baby monitors always a good choice to help keep your child safe while you are out of the room?

Well, consider this ….

If a cell phone company applied for a permit to install a cell phone tower next to a school in your community, do you think there would be a large public outcry?

Most likely there would be very vocal outrage from the surrounding neighborhoods and the story would be featured prominently in the local news as many concerned and informed parents are increasingly taking precautions to minimize their children’s exposure to any sort of microwave technology.

The fact is that the long term effects of microwave radiation on children’s developing brains are completely unknown.

What is known is that a child’s brain is not fully developed until about age 20 and until that time, the skull is thinner to permit its continued growth and development.  Hence, a child’s brain is extremely sensitive to the effects of any type of EMF radiation.

Wireless Baby Monitors:  The Elephant in the Nursery

While most parents would agree that installing a cell phone tower next to a school would be dangerous and definitely not a good idea, many of these same parents are unaware of the very similar danger posed by baby monitors, devices ironically designed for child safety!

When my first child was born, like all the other mothers I knew, I had a baby monitor on my baby shower list.  At that time, baby monitors were corded and plugged into a wall outlet, so I was very careful to keep it away from the baby’s crib and on a bureau across the room out of concern for strangulation risk from the cord.

In recent years, however, corded baby monitors have all but disappeared in favor of the new wireless models which pose the very severe risk of continuous microwave radiation in your child’s room.

According to PowerWatch, a wireless baby monitor at less than 1 meter away from the baby’s crib was roughly equivalent to the microwave radiation experienced from a cell phone tower only 150 meters away.

With most baby monitors now wireless and the risk of strangulation from the cords no longer an issue, many parents are putting them right in the crib so a distance of 1 meter or less is not so far fetched. Even a wireless monitor across the room would still pose a danger, albeit a reduced one.

How to Keep Tabs on Your Baby Without Wireless Baby Monitors

The best way to keep tabs on your baby is to have the child’s nursery next to the master bedroom and use your ears.  It’s how Grandma did it after all!

If you absolutely must have a baby monitor for when your child is napping during the day and you are elsewhere in the house doing chores, then use one of the old style corded (analog) monitors that you can probably find at a garage sale for next to nothing.

While all wireless baby monitors are a problem, the high frequency digital models are the absolute worst.  Analog monitors are a better choice than digital and if you can find one that is non-pulsing and low frequency in the 35-50 mHz range then that would be the only wireless option that should be considered. Typically, these analog monitors only have a few channels.  Even analog monitors, however, should be kept at least 3 feet from the child’s bed and if possible, used sparingly.

According to PowerWatch, parents that switch out wireless baby monitors for an old style plug-in monitor or none at all report the child crying less, having less irritability and sleeping better.

Taking care to get the microwave radiation out of your baby’s room to protect her developing brain may have the distinct advantage of a better night’s sleep – for everyone in the house!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources:

Digital Cordless Baby Monitors (PowerWatch)

Reducing Exposure to Dirty Electricity

Harvard Medical Doctor Warns About the Dangers of Smart Meters

Picture Credit

 

Comments (186)

  1. To all the mothers here on this webstie…

    Please choose not to use a baby monitor or any other form of wireless around your baby. Recent studies out this past month are showing it is actually cancer causing.

    https://lennarthardellenglish.wordpress.com/

    I personally was an airline pilot for 22 years until cell towers were placed behind my home and I became sensitive to all forms of wireless. You can possibly start to imagine how difficult it is to live now practiclly anywhere in the world. I would suggest going to Frank Clegg’s (the former President of Microsoft Canada) website to learn more about this.

    Our group in Grand Bend & the Port Franks area (Lambton shores) also post news daily on facebook about any new studies or news. (Wendy Walks for ES) If you go to the “about” section on this page it will tell you how to limit the amount of wireless in your own home making it safer.

    All the best, Melissa

    Reply
  2. Yikes… I was doing my research on getting a baby monitor. I almost decided to buy it. But then after reading your discussion, it scares the hell of me. Now I’m lost but glad that I’ve not bought it yet

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The hidden dangers of wireless baby monitors

  4. We use a Foscam. They make wired and wireless models, but even the wireless (Wi-Fi) models can be used wired. They all have an ethernet jack on the back. Just use one of those ethernet over AC adapters and you’re all set. Now the signal is going via ethernet and not wireless.

    Reply
  5. “Even a wireless monitor across the room would still pose a danger, albeit a reduced one”

    Don’t be so sure about this reduction, or that power levels are the whole of it (wave character can count), or that there is necessarily a linear relationship as in the stronger the greater the bioeffect (danger may pertain more at lower doses, prolonged doses, at critical times and so on). And don’t be sure that “35-50 mHz range” is any less potentially harmful.

    Good to bring this sub-issue of the dangers of wireless to your readership. But let it be only a start to dealing with the gamut of wireless dangers all around.

    Reply
  6. I am confused about this. When you have a wireless baby monitor, that means the unit the parents have is wireless. The part in the baby’s room is plugged in. And even a wireless unit can plug in, so if you do plug it in does that make it less harmful? We live in Texas where houses are big and even a room right next door is too far away to hear crying.

    Reply
  7. Jenna Harper via Facebook August 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Hi there, iv got a question about the article posted below this post about night lights affecting melatonin production , do you think dull salt lamps would cause this also ?

    Reply
  8. Amanda Lorraine via Facebook August 5, 2014 at 5:32 am

    My little couldn’t sleep with it in her room. We had to take it out of there. She knew there was a problem with it!

    Reply
  9. Shanna Nichole Choate via Facebook August 5, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I have never seen the point in monitors. Why the need to see/hear baby at all times? We are in baby #4 in a 2 story home and have never needed one. Baby sleeps in our room for the first few month, as I nurse and naps downstairs during the day.

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Big Mother Is Watching | DamBaby

  11. Kayla Cunningham via Facebook February 27, 2014 at 12:03 am

    I wonder what my iPad and iPhone give off since I usually use those with an app along with my old school baby monitor….

    Reply
  12. I have been doing my own research and there is something called Blue Angel Consumer information that is looking out for the welfare of others. http://www.eurofins.com/product-testing-services/information/ecolabels,-quality-labels/blue-angel.aspx
    There is a baby monitor out there that was approved by “Blue Angel” you might want to investigate for yourself. I have nothing to gain from this – I only want to purchase this for my niece’s newborn but we cannot get this in North America!

    Reply
  13. I think there is some confusion here. The fact that a baby monitor is “plugged into the wall” for power instead of using battery doesn’t mean it’s not a “wireless” baby monitor. If the signals are sent through the antenna of that baby monitor unit, then it is still a “wireless baby monitor”, and is still emitting microwave radiation.

    If the baby monitor sends its audio or video signals via a cable,then it can be considered a “wired”(safer )baby monitor. Even with that, you have to be careful not to put the monitor right next to the baby, as there can still be frequency and magnetic fields emitting in close proximity from the baby monitor.

    Reply
  14. Ignorance is not bliss! September 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Apperantly, ignorance is not bliss.
    Electromagnetic fields, or rather electromagnetic radiation caused by EMF, may indeed be harmful for an infant. However, harm caused to human cells by EMR entirely depends on its frequency. That is, high frequency EMR causes more damage.
    So what is high frequency? Will a 2.4 GHz wireless signal from your baby monitor cause any harm? I cannot say for sure but I can give you some information as to where 2.4 GHz radiation falls in our lives. As it may come as a surprise to many people, visible light is also EMR. Its frequency ranges from 400 THz to 770 Thz, meaning it is approximately 200000 more than 2.4 GHz. Ultra violet (UV) light, being the lowest frequency harmful EMR with any certainty, ranges from 700 THz to 30000 Thz; followed by a more harmful X-Ray radiation at higher frequencies. This means you cannot really say the wireless technology is harmful and cite the EMR frequency being high. After all, its frequency is much lower than visible light and nobody keeps their kids in dark all the time.
    However, all this does not mean all wireless products are safe. Microwaves, for example, also have much lower frequencies but they cause water molecules to heat up (cleverly used in microwave ovens :)) so you do not expose your child to microwaves of certain frequency for long times. Ultimately, we do not know what adverse affects long term EMR exposure due to wireless technology will cause, but I would not throw out my baby monitor based on what this article states. Also, the recommendation of “wired” monitors is a joke.There is no wired monitor as far as I understand. Unless, of course, your old fashioned “plugged” monitors are somehow connected to the parent’s unit with a cable running from the babies room to the parents. The fact that there is a cable going into the monitor does not make it wired, ALL monitors use wireless technology. Additionally, if electrical current is passing through any wire (which happens in all your homes all the time, especially with a truly wired monitor :) ) it is generating EMR.
    I hope this helps some of you.

    Reply
  15. Tamara Fullerton Sargeant via Facebook May 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    This is good, but almost all homes have WiFi and most parents use cell phones, but, I guess you can reduce the amount you have in your home…

    Reply
  16. Ugh! Wish I had known a year ago! We have an old corded one, but it is still a higher mHz than what you recommend. Getting rid of it pronto.

    Reply
  17. hey I have a video monitor. the part that is in his room is plugged in and the vdeo part is the one that is in our room and needs to be charged. is that ok?

    Reply
  18. Taylor Lambert via Facebook May 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve read this, and all the comments, and I can’t figure out what a NON wireless monitor is. They all have plugs for electricity, but they still transmit the signal wirelessly. Wish there was more detail or brands listed or something.

    Reply
    • The only true non-wireless option would mean just that. As in a cable running from receiver to monitor (like hooking your laptop to an ethernet cable, which I now do because I have a newborn and am not taking chances with wi-fi waves beaming into his little head 24/7). Some cameras run over ethernet lines and could be used for baby monitoring as well I suppose (if you used a powerline adapter to run Internet through your home’s electrical wiring, the set-up wouldn’t be too challenging). Or just forget it all and use ears.

      Reply
  19. Kirsten Wingenbach via Facebook May 17, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Re: cell towers at schools. Don’t be surprised if there is no outcry; cell towers are huge revenue generators for schools. When one was proposed above a second grade classroom at our school, I learned that the protest was best made regarding aesthetics. Parents questioning health implications can legally be immediately dismissed since the government has declared cell towers safe.

    Reply
  20. Pingback: Trading in my digital video monitor for a safer analog audio monitor | wildflowerramblings

  21. Pingback: Baby monitors are dangerous? - Baby & Toddler Forum

  22. Really? A microwave from your cell phone, cordless phones, and monitors are not ionized. A cell phone tower produces more amps than a monitor does. People are so scared of the most ridiculous things anymore. The most dangerous thing to your baby is YOU babying it!

    Reply
    • The long term effects of wireless radiation on human physiology is completely unknown. What’s wrong with some caution?

      Reply
      • Nothing is wrong with caution. Just make sure that you don’t live within 40nm of an airport for their navigational radios such as VOR’s or NDB’s also ensure that there is not a cell phone in the house and especially do not have wifi running throughout the house. Then to be a little extra safe families with newborn’s should actually move to a remote house in the country.
        Where do we draw the line? We don’t have facts and living in this paranoid world because someone with a computer can sit and type up hypothetical situations just get’s on my nerves. Do you remember growing up? Is there anything wrong with you? I hope there is not; for me, I am as healthy as I can be. I remember riding without seat belts and playing with lawn darts. I also remember getting a spanking when I messed up but that is a whole different argument that I don’t want to get into.
        It just seems now a days that people are just trying to place blame on something that happened to their kid. Maybe it’s the parent’s fault for whatever happened.

        Reply
        • Why are you so angry, Matt. Do you have a child? You have a problem that people implement caution? Then go and read about the history of asbestos, thalidamide, DDT, agent orange, BPA, vioxx, tobacco, X-ray and other harmful substances that were once deemed completely SAFE by health authorities.

          You think the danger of electromagnetic radiation is “hypothetical situations ” typed up by someone who has too much time? Please, educate yourself, go do some reading – of the non-industry-funded science – and you would find that medical doctors and scientists (from establishments such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia etc) are warning parents to be cautious on wireless radiation, as there is valid evidence showing the possibility of harm, especially for the young ones. Many doctors’ associations around the world have already spoken out on this issue: http://www.safeinschool.org/2013/02/medical-advisory-wifi-radiation-and.html

          Reply
  23. Pam; In case you haven’t noticed, cancer is the #1 disease of our civilization. In fact, because of the rapid increase in the rate of childhood cancer, lukemia, the World Health Organization(more than 10 years ago) began to study and watch the rise of this cancer in children as the rate of radiaton emissions increased from wireless devices. As a result of that 10 year + study, the World Health Organization issued a precautionary warning in the use of wireless technology putting it in the 2b classification of a possible carcinogen.

    Reply
  24. Wow. Just wow. Who the heck has time to worry about these kinds of things??? Don’t we have bigger things to worry about? Let’s see… clothed, fed, bills paid, roof over our heads, work, school, play time, LIFE. And then there a societal isssues like smoking cessation, ilicit drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, homeless people, etc. Get a grip people. Most of us have bigger things on our plates than some EMFs to worry about. Is it necessary to have a cell phone connected to your ear all day? No. Probably don’t need any baby monitors either. Babies cry, we will hear them most of the time. And even if we step outside to get the mail, put out the trash, or (GASP) find a few minutes to get some yard work done, guess what? The baby will be just fine and no one needs to get their panties in a wad. Why must we helicopter 24/7?

    EMFs are essential for many of our JOBS and livelihood. And don’t forget that some of this “harmful” technology actually helps SAVE lives each and every day. Ever had to call EMS from a cell phone while on the highway? How about all the wifi used in hospitals to improve patient care? Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Home CPAP machines? Ultrasounds?

    It is apparent to me that some folks have waaayyyyy to much time on their hands to be so obsessed with these things!

    Reply
    • When my parents were kids, cancer was rare. Now it is an epidemic. So, yes, we have to find time to be concerned about the microwaves bombarding us. Remember this: Cancer always has a cause. It doesn’t just happen. Most of the time the cause is something human beings have done to the environment. Did you know that carcinogens have lobbyists to make sure our government does not protect citizens?

      Reply
      • when your parents were young there was cancer – cancer is not a new thing – its been around for a long time – the name cancer is new.

        In the olden days it was just a mysterious illness with no name.

        anyway – evolution – if you google it will tell you that our bodies adapt to new environment

        perhaps wi-fi EMF is our new environment and our babies will have to need to adapt to it too.

        Reply
  25. I don’t have a baby monitor, and I avoid wireless as much as possible in my home. I have a cell phone but rarely use it.

    BUT towers like the one pictured in with this post are all over the place in our city and neighboring cities, and less than a block from our house. No one asked my permission to put it there. What kind of world are we creating?

    Reply
    • Healthy Home Economist, your post says there would be an outcry if cell phone towers were placed near schools. But around here they are everywhere, and no one makes a peep. What part of the country are you in where people would rally against cell phone towers, or have any power in decided where they are put?

      I am asking for help because I don’t want to expose my son to microwave radiation from these towers, or from wifi transmitters. Yet in Minneapolis they are all over the place and my friends tell me there is nothing that can be done about it. Minneapolis is proud of the fact that there are wifi transmitters every 5 blocks, and cell phone towers all over the place.

      What can I do? What can we do?

      Reply
  26. Definitley fear mongering at its best. This article is ridiculous and those who believe it are even more ridiculous. The so called “source” used in this article is even less reliable then the information they distort.

    Every single person who posted a response or likely read this article owns and uses their own cell phone and I don’t think everyone’s heads are exploding. Why not post some informative info rather then this second rate FoxNews crap.

    Reply
    • the World Health Organization has classified electromagnetic frequencies(emfs) as a possible carcinogen(2b) and has issued a precautionary warning in the use of emfs.
      That is not a ridiculous source, Jeff. I don’t own a cell phone, I don’t need wireless devices, wired is just fine and that should be my choice.

      Reply
  27. It’s good to see other groups like the Healthy Home Economist are aware of the dangers of wireless technology in the home. Kudos to you for raising awareness.You have well researched this and I hope that you will suceed in warning parents about this very dangerous technology.

    Reply
  28. How do we get the cell phone and wifi towers away from homes, playgrounds, and schools? Because around here, in Minnesota, they seem to be everywhere. Few people in power are concerned about it. Most parents seem blind to the risk.

    Reply
  29. Pingback: Newborn Baby Care Tip – Monitor Baby With Wireless! | NewBorn Baby Care

  30. Electrical engineer December 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

    This article seems to be very misinformed although it is true that the effects of microwaves are unknown. Electromagnetic waves easily penetrate materials which do not conduct electricity (like the baby’s skull) and can be shielded against by conductive materials like metals.

    So the assertion that:
    “the skull is thinner to permit its continued growth and development. Hence, a child’s brain is extremely sensitive to the effects of any type of EMF radiation.”
    simply makes no sense. The difference in thickness of a baby’s skull and an adult’s skull would make almost no difference because the skull does not conduct electricity.

    This leads me to believe that the author knows little about electromagnetism. The baby’s room would likely be permeated by dozens of other sources of microwaves, unless the crib were located in some remote country area without cell service.

    Anyway, don’t pay to much attention to an article that clearly hasn’t done its research.

    Reply
    • The biological effects of electromagnetic frequencies(emfs) has been researched by scientists and governments around the world since the 1950′s. It is well known that there are serious biological effects from exposure to this radiation. The protective blood barrier around a baby’s skull is not fully formed and is constantly changing to accomodate the baby’s growth and development. The World Health Organization has issued a precautionary warning in the use of wireless technology and has classified emfs as possible carcinogens (2b).That’s good enough for me.

      Reply
  31. Scientific evidence does exist for electropollution, but the community is divided. Who is right and who is wrong? These are tough questions to answer – it depends on who you ask. I am not an insider. So what if no consensus exists? A consensus exists about the dangers of cholesterol and this consensus happens to ignore the scientific evidence that challengers their view.

    I wonder about the comments of citing science as the ultimate authority, or practicing scientism. I have a philosophy friend who says since the mainstream dental community doesn’t accept the work of Weston Price, he questions its validity and Dr. Price claims. Fine, but I could care less what they think. I have reversed tooth decay using his protocol and have seen others do so – the proof sometimes can be in the pudding, don’t you think? Do I need to use science to tell me how to go to the toilet or find a mate? Science definitely can be used constructively in these matters , but using science as the sole authority sounds very naive to me.

    i will balance the research with my own personal experience. I work with growers to increase their soil fertility and the nutrient density of their crops. We use EMF protectors because we found that electropollution in many cases inhibits nutrient uptake in plants, thereby causing them to be nutritionally poor, prone to illness, etc. We have found that farmers who get great results in using EMF protectors also notice oftentimes significant increases in their health and, as a side benefit, they notice their neighbors get less grumpy. A number of people I have worked with who put these protectors in the cities after seeing great results in the farm. Cities have the most electropulltion, in general. And yes, a good product oftentimes delivers good results. That said, EMF happens to be just one of myriad of factors affecting plant and human health so one can find plenty of cases where putting any of the quality EMF protectors does zilch.

    Looking at research may not indicate how EMF affects you individually. A cookie cutter approach here may lead one to a false conclusion Putting a protector and using methods to neutralize the supposed harmful effects effects will yield more insight than armchair theories by themselves, at the least.

    A sample of references:

    http://www.dirtyelectricityfacts.com/research.php
    http://www.weepinitiative.org/LINKEDDOCS/scientific/08_Havas_CFL_SCENIHR.pdf
    http://www.bioinitiative.org/

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/09/new-study-confirms-electrical-pollution-from-cell-phones-and-wifi-is-hazardous.aspx

    http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Currents-Promise-Electromedicine-Electropollution/dp/0874775361/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354997200&sr=1-2&keywords=electropollution

    http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Scientific-Revolutions-50th-Anniversary/dp/0226458121/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355003209&sr=1-1&keywords=thomas+kuhn
    High Brix Nutrient Dense Foods\’s last post: Benefits of High Brix Nutrient Dense Farmed Foods Part 4: Vitamins, Antioxidants and other Phytochemicals

    Reply
    • Having a strong marketing background, I’ve seen first hand how “Independent 3rd party research” is bent to help turn a profit. The best way to judge whose motives are pure is by following the money trail.

      Reply
  32. I didnt even have one on my list at all. I can take time to watch my kid like people use too. however my pushy mom in law ( even about vacc) put it on list. just made me madder at her then I was. She just kept trying to tell us what to do. so i canceled her baby shower. she now has gotten the point that she raised her kids and we are raising ours our way so butt out. helps that deap down she knows she abused my hubby by locking him in a closest. even tho she wont outright admite it. she knows butt out or you don’t see grandbaby at all. i think she knows we would win a grandparents rights fight becuase she has told to many peolpe that she wishes my hubby had died of cancer 11 yrs ago rather then her other son. so what right does she have to the kid that came from him! ok off my soup box. i wont have a moniter even in my home. got enough of the eletirc stuff going dont need more cancer cuasers and that close to my baby. even my alarm clock is battery run so its lower in junk

    Reply
  33. We had 10 children and I never used any monitor. I did it the old fashioned way and listened and checked on the babies. Life is so much more enjoyable if you stay away from all the “stuff” that everyone says you need for you little ones.

    Reply
  34. When WAS the last time there was significant public outcry when a cellphone tower was being built next to a… whatever (school, business, homes, etc.)? Fact is, cell phone towers are everywhere and are we are quite literally bathed in EMF throughout our day. It’s simply a false illusion we can “protect” ourselves from massive doses of EMF – unless, perhaps, you live very very far away from civilization (and you’re probably still getting exposed to some EMF even in the middle of the Antarctic). Work, home, school, places of business, and just walking down the street – virtually all have significant microwave radiation. There’s very, very few places in the world where we can get away from it. As long as we consider cell phone and wireless high-frequency radio communications in general essential to our daily lives – and given that hundreds of thousands of cell phones are activated, daily, it doesn’t seem likely we’ll ever get away from not considering it essential – it’s here to stay. Unless you want to wrap your home in a Faraday cage and remove all technology from it entirely you WILL get a big dose of EMF every day of your life.

    Scientists have continually ping-ponged between cell phones being toxic and cancerous to being completely harmless. Not that it’s an excuse to not be safe, but I don’t think they really know. Cell phones have been pretty wide use for about 20 years now – while I know the tech has been around much, much longer I got my first cell in 1994 – and unregulated Wifi spectrum legally has to be less than a watt (not that it’s hard to find radios that will transmit in the 2-4 watt range but that’s still very trivial power) and while cell tower microwave can run at considerably higher power the phones themselves run at very low wattage. Perhaps some people have hyper-sensitivity to EMF but I believe it’s mostly psychosomatic just as thousands of idiopathic and autoimmune conditions seem to be.

    In short, don’t base your assumptions that wireless baby monitors are “harmful” to your infant child from one unscientific blog post that attempts to stir the radical assertion that all EMF is terrifically harmful and will somehow impede the growth and intelligence and health of your child.

    Reply
  35. Pingback: Is your wireless baby monitor dangerous? | Momma Words

  36. I especially took exception to her incorrect statement that lower frequency would somehow be safer than newer high frequency digital transmitters. That simply isn’t true. I’m not making a judgement of whether or not EMF is harmful, I was stating she discredits her message when making blatantly incorrect statements and her incorrect words have consequences with the droves of people that read this and buy into it without researching and understanding the science of radio waves.

    WIFI and most other radio sources are such low wattage and at a reasonable distance that before I believe there is any real risk, I will have to see some imperial evidence (beyond placing your router under your pillow at night) there is some measurable risk.

    That being said if there is some proof that WIFI in my home is dangerous then I will be happy to remove.

    Reply
    • It’s hard to say what is and isn’t true, when you’re talking about something science largely discredits anyway. My experience has been that those that fear EMF fear higher-frequency radiation more than lower frequencies, and Sarah follows that trend. Since neither is proven damaging, it’s hard to state with any authority that one is more harmful than the other. But high-frequency waves receive more blame, at least as far as I’ve seen.

      Reply
  37. You can buy an EMF meter and test it out for yourself. I think the critics are unfairly ripping into Sarah here. Of course the science that says EMF radiation is harmful hasn’t caught on yet. That usually doesn’t happen until we’ve received decades of damage from something, like sodium fluoride in tap water and adjuvants in vaccines. Also, Sarah never said that there aren’t any other sources of radiation to watch out for. You should do away with most cordless phones, don’t sit the laptop on your babies lap, and don’t let the power company install a smart meter on your house. I do believe that some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to tolerating EMF exposure. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t being damaged by it however. I’m going to do some research, buy an EMF detector, and satisfy my own curiosity. I bet there’s a lot of merit to science behind the article Sarah read.

    Reply
    • It’s hardly “unfair” to rip into this. I’ll gladly agree that though mainstream science doesn’t recognize EMF to be generally hazardous, there’s plenty of other evidence suggesting that it really is harmful, and I’ll gladly agree that it has in fact harmed some people. But to claim sensationally that baby monitors are equivalent in radiation to a cell phone tower, without mentioning how common those towers are, or how rarely they’re even accused of harm, is doing the readers a disservice. To fail to point out how many cordless phones, wireless internet devices, cellular telephones, and hundreds of other household devices contribute to EMF is disingenuous. To fail to describe the problem is the worst abuse of the readership; the type of electromagnetic radiation accused of harm is short-wave, high-frequency radiation, most common digital models whether corded or otherwise. In other words, it makes no difference if your monitor plugs into the wall or uses batteries (as so many readers seem to think). The problem is if it transmits its signal over radio waves, or not, and what frequencies it uses. Sarah correctly points out that digital devices are more likely to use high-frequency waves than analog ones are. Monitors with cords, no matter what sorts of electromagnetic radiation they emit, present their own hazards, as parents regularly put them near cribs, where babies can reach the cords and chew on them or become tangled. An unlikely hazard, perhaps, but far more common than EMF radiation damage.

      Reply
    • We bought a EMF meter before we started house hunting :) We also used it to find the best placement for our beds. Thankfully we have no Wi-Fi or cell phone towers around us or in our house. We actually live on an island that will not allow cell phone towers. I do my best to put my cell on airplane when not being used. Our power lines emit a high reading if we stand under it so we try to stay away from that area. We also trashed the microwave years ago. I feel most people think it’s too much work or too costly to worry about this kind of stuff but our health is truly the only wealth we will ever have.

      Reply
  38. The hard truth is that if you’re going to get rid of baby monitors you need to get rid of the rest of the wi-fi junk in your house and make sure you don’t have a smart-meter installed on your home by your power company. ALL wi-fi stuff runs on frequency beams and they’re everywhere. That includes most cell phones, unless you have the older “bag phone” kind, but even they run on a frequency, albeit lower.

    No, there’s just no getting away from it. You can take it out of the kid’s room, but that won’t protect them anymore. We’ve already gone down the rabbit hole.

    Reply
  39. I cannot believe the gullibility of the people that read this non-science! This person discredits herself in several statements. 1st comparing the cell tower to the baby monitor is like comparing a nuclear power plant to the wind up generator in a LED flashlight. But less about my opinions of this kind of junk article and more about facts and science.

    Please don’t believe me (or especially Sarah): READ FOR YOURSELVES…do a search on the effects of low frequency vs high frequency on the body.

    Lower frequencies are much more penetrating to the human body and therefore have the potential to be more damaging to biological tissue. Higher frequencies tend to bounce off because their wavelink is tighter and not as penetrating.

    Next lower frequencies require more wattage to be carried; higher frequencies require much less wattage.

    I loved the statement that higher frequency digital monitors were less safe because they had more channels (haha!) the frequency range from one channel to the next is a matter of points of a MHz, it makes no difference.

    This person did NO research in writing the article and yet droves of lemmings were throwing out their monitors and changing the safer high frequency monitors for the slightly less if not much less safe lower frequency monitors.

    We have to stop believing these opinion articles and do some fact checking for ourselves.

    It is sad to me the number of people who thanked Sarah for this article.

    Reply
  40. Eek! We love our monitor and it’s video but it happens to be corded (although can operate on the batteries) and analog! I guess those are the only good things about it. Its MHz is much higher than what you listed, if I understand that correctly. Thanks for highlighting this issue; I will need to consider it.
    Megan\’s last post: Grain-Free Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

    Reply
  41. This article is written by alarmists. There are so many frequencies and signals bouncing around the atmosphere on would have to live in a lead box to avoid them. But the problem with the lead box is that some groups will have a problem with the lead because some kid might take a BITE out if the box and get poisoned…. Really Now wireless baby monitors? OK let’s remove ALL cell phones, cordless phones, microwaves, TV remotes, house alarms with off site monitoring, GPS systems, CFL bulbs because of the mercury inside them. No satellite TV because of the digital signals too. Do not go to concerts or shows at Disney because they use wireless technology too. A baby monitor is just a wireless microphone… BTW where is the hard science on this? Where are the years of data and research or is this just more tree huggers trying to have another 15 minutes of fame… I am sorry, I say Hogwash!

    Reply
    • Yes, waves bathe us wherever we go, but the issue addressed here is chronic, constant exposure at close proximity, and taking prudent steps to reduce exposure. You may want to explore the website and position papers of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

      Reply
    • A better question would be…where are the years of research that show all this is safe? I’d rather not let my child be the experiment.

      Reply
  42. Raya Savitri Zane via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    that sucks because i had to have one….my babe napped upstairs so it was the only way I could here him……now that he is older, i dont use it anymore….

    Reply
  43. P.S. Though I totally agree that NOT using EMF emitting devices is even better than using them with diodes but it’s pretty difficult to avoid them altogether, especially if you are out of your home or your neighbors have their wireless routers on 24/7.

    Reply
  44. Thanks for bringing light to this issue, Sarah, as our electronic exposure is definitely overlooked these days. I highly recommend checking out the company Ener-G-Polari-T for the purchase of EMF protection diodes. They sell diode products for every EMF producing device, including ones specially formulated for wireless devices. We have pocket diodes, diode pads under our pillows, in our cars and have stick-on diodes on our cell phones, TVs and wireless router. They even make them for bluetooth headsets. Their products are backed by science and decades of research and development — I can personally attest that they really help alleviate the negatives effects of EMFs for all ages. I’m just a satisfied customer wanting to share the wealth! http://www.energpolarit.com/

    Reply
  45. If you’re going to worry about microwave radiation (which may well be justified), worry about your cordless phone, your wireless internet, and radiation from your computers as well.

    Reply
    • And all of these things in the houses around you and the cell phone towers and power lines and radio signals etc etc etc. There is no escaping these devil microwaves!

      Reply
  46. My baby sleeps next to my side of the bed in a bassinet and I have my smart phone. In a pouch by her head to check the time. Does a phone emit radiation levels that I should be concerned about?

    Reply
  47. Wow! I had never thought about the baby monitors. I had a corded one with my first but really never used it. I was always close enough time hear him cry. I haven’t used one at all since him. Thank you for sharing. This is info I will pass along to others.

    Reply
    • I soo want to but my inpataincte hubby has a fit if he has to wait a whole 5 to 10 min for the online to come up. so He wont let me.

      Reply
  48. @Michelle if you google cell phone towers and your local area you can find a map where they are all located. The fact is that we are ALL exposed to microwave radiation, but we can minimize it in our homes at least. I don’t sleep well in hotels I think because of the WiFI which we turn off at night in our home and have no EMFs in the bedrooms at all. WiFI (another form of microwave like cordless phones and baby monitors) really disturbs my sleep.

    Reply
  49. “What is known is that a child’s brain is not fully developed until about age 20 and until that time, the skull is thinner to permit its continued growth and development. Hence, a child’s brain is extremely sensitive to the effects of any type of EMF radiation.”

    That is an extremely invalid argument. The only conclusion that can be drawn based on those facts is that a child’s brain MAY be more sensitive to the effects of emf radiation IF AT ALL I worry more about babies being parented by people like you. And unfortunately the size of one’s skull doesn’t relate to the amount of idiocy that one is exposed to, and many of the adult readers of this blog will accept your conclusions because they too are idiots. Anyone who excepts the conclusion that babies’ brains are sensitive to EMF radiation doesn’t have a grasp of basic elementary logic. Worse is someone who rights an entire article based on a falsehood.

    Reply
    • I’m assuming that, based on your lack of spelling skills, that any type of finger pointing involved in your comment to the so-called “idiots” of the world must include yourself.
      Tricia\’s last post: Pet peeves

      Reply
      • Perhaps. Difference is, though, that the spelling mistake(s) didn’t result in any incorrect claims or conclusions, whereas Sarah’s logic mistake did. I also don’t have a following of mindless drones believing everything that I write, so even if I do/did make a mistake I’m not impacting anyone’s life very much.

        And by the way, the article you linked to isn’t without spelling/grammar mistakes. But who’s counting.

        Reply
      • OK I agree with Sarah’s artical but Rob spelling doesn’t make him dumb. the smartest people in history are dyslic as I’m sure from my bad spelling you can see i am too. that hurts when someone calls someone dumb/stupid just becuase they can’t spell. That has NOTHING to do with smarts!!! Your rude!

        Reply
      • I do currently have a baby with a monitor in her room, and I know that it’s really hard to tell what actually is causing her to cry. We can change one thing and it’ll work for a few days and then she’ll be back to crying. And then when we change it back she’ll stop crying again. There have been nights when we’ve removed the monitor and she has cried worse, and been up more often. Parents that report changes in their babies sleep are just assuming that it was related to the lack of a wireless monitor. Maybe the light on the monitor was the problem? Or they prefer the light on the new wired one. Who knows. My point was, and is, that you can’t say, as a matter of fact, that because their skulls aren’t fully developed that they are bothered by the wireless waves. And even if babies are bothered by wireless waves it does not imply that they are harmed by them. You can only make assumptions, and you should clearly state that you’re making an assumption at the beginning of your articles.

        Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Just because you haven’t seen definitive and lasting improvement in your child’s crying habits from removing a wireless monitor doesn’t mean the same for other parents. And yes, a thinner skull would definitely mean that wireless would have a greater impact on developing brains of children … some European communities have taken the precautionary step to remove ALL wifi from school grounds based on this. In addition, preliminary evidence is that wireless technology does indeed have a significant negative behavioral impact in children .. it is preliminary however and I chose not to address it in this post. You can google Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt if interested. I personally feel it is foolish to risk the microwave radiation exposure in a child’s room when safer alternatives are readily available. There is NO DOUBT there is an effect .. how much likely varies from child to child but who is willing to risk their own baby? Not me.
          Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Get Those Wireless Baby Monitors OUT of the Nursery!

          Reply
    • I have to partially agree with Rob here. My wife sent me a link to this blog post and I really couldn’t believe the level of ignorance regarding the dangers of EMF radiation. Read this article on Non-iodizing radiation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-ionizing_radiation). If you are really worried about EMF you should probably turn off every electrical device in your house, including your radios. Calling out baby monitors is just ludicrous.

      I don’t agree with Rob entirely that we know all we need to know about the long term effects of EMF exposure, but to pin it on a baby monitor ignores the more useful wider debate of how do you generally keep your baby safe from high-emitting EMF fields.

      A lot of the parents who read this are going to thing they are doing a great job turning off their monitors, only to put their baby on their lap and talk on their cell phone, or hold their baby while using a computer, one one of a hundred ways to expose them to more radiation.

      Reply
    • Rob, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, adverse health effects from wireless radio frequency fields, such as learning disabilities, altered immune responses, and headaches, clearly exist and are well documented in the scientific literature.

      Consider this quote from their position paper on Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Fields Effect on Human Health:

      “In the last five years with the advent of wireless devices, there has been a massive increase in radiofrequency (RF) exposure from wireless devices as well as reports of hypersensitivity and diseases related to electromagnetic field and RF exposure. Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

      The electromagnetic wave spectrum is divided into ionizing radiation such as ultraviolet and X-rays and non-ionizing radiation such as radiofrequency (RF), which includes WiFi, cell phones, and Smart Meter wireless communication. It has long been recognized that ionizing radiation can have a negative impact on health. However, the effects of non-ionizing radiation on human health recently have been seen. Discussions and research of non-ionizing radiation effects centers around thermal and non-thermal effects. According to the FCC and other regulatory agencies, only thermal effects are relevant regarding health implications and consequently, exposure limits are based on thermal effects only.1

      While it was practical to regulate thermal bioeffects, it was also stated that non-thermal effects are not well understood and no conclusive scientific evidence points to non-thermal based negative health effects. Further arguments are made with respect to RF exposure from WiFi, cell towers and smart meters that due to distance, exposure to these wavelengths are negligible. However, many in vitro, in vivo and epidemiological studies demonstrate that significant harmful biological effects occur from non-thermal RF exposure and satisfy Hill’s criteria of causality. Genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects have all been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

      Source: http://aaemonline.org/emf_rf_position.html

      You may want to do some more exploration on the topic.

      Reply
    • Rob, I’m curious what your degree is in, or what research you have done to prove the information in this article is not true. I was at a conference taught by pediatric chiropractors, scientists, radiologists, and medical doctors, and one of the points made there was that you can see how the brain is affected by a cell phone on a brain imaging scan. They tested both adults and children, and in adults, only the part of the brain by the ear lights up, whereas in children, half the head is lit up. I think it’s worth looking into at the very least. I would be happy to consider any facts you present to prove your points, but calling people who are concerned about their children’s safety when it comes to the unproven possible effects of technology is very rude and unfounded.

      Reply
    • Actually, there’s a TON of science globally that proves that radiation impacts a child’s brain more deeply than a full grown adult. You should do some research before you make comments like this.

      Reply
  50. Kristen Tollison via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    thanks for sharing. we have a plug in video one and it’s bad according to the original article you sited. we haven’t used it much at all because we co-sleep. thankfully!!

    Reply
  51. Danielle White via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    All the schools I am near have cell phone towers very close to them. Sometimes on the property. And no one cares at all. (Except me.) My son’s school also has wireless mikes for the teachers and soon they’re going to have every kid on an iPad. I’m considering homeschooling just to get him away from the EMF.

    Reply
    • We home school because of the EMF’s Wi-Fi, and don’t forget about all the florescent lighting. Even if all these things were gone from the class room my kid couldn’t make it all day in a class with 20-25 kids who are covered head to toe with one fragrance or another. I can’t even go to a grocery store anymore without covering my nose. Yuck!

      Reply
    • Before you jump to conclusions and make blanket statements…let me assure you that not all people are cut out for co-sleeping. If I coslept with my kids, we would not get enough sleep! I get woken up by every little noise, movement. I am way too sensitive for that. I would have to try and tune everything out if I were to attempt it- and then I wouldn’t be sensitive anymore in the first place to when my baby needs me. How does that make any sense? My first son would not sleep well with us either. Maybe when he was a newborn, but now- he just gets energized at the presence of anyone in his space so it would completely defeat the purpose. I am happy if it works for you, but you really should think before you assume everyone in the world is just like you and your family.

      Reply
      • I cosleep AND have a monitor!!! One cannot go to sleep at 7:30pm every night and expect to be happy and/or have a clean house. Night time is the only time I get anything accomplished. I need the monitor to let me know when my little one wakes up because if I don’t catch it immediately, she will wake up her sister. PS – I wake up to every single sound and movement, too. I just got used to the lack of sleep…lol. It’s def not for everyone, but we’re content regardless.

        Reply
      • Well said, Tricia! Fortunately my babies rooms are right across the hall from our bedroom, and my husband is a light sleeper. I could never co-sleep. When I go to bed, I crash out big time, and I sprawl. I get too little sleep as it is, but add a baby to my bed, and I wouldn’t be able to function. We used the old style plug in monitor, and we all slept just fine.

        Reply
      • so do I wake up at ever sound. that is the point. to kniow when your baby is awake. they can’t role over and sufficate if you know they are awake. in a crib in anouther room they can. or any # of things. If you roll over in your sleep then get a cosleeper crib so you don’t roll on them. and I do go to bed happy at 7:30 and get up with baby at 7. she eats alot at nite so it works great. and yes my house is clean

        Reply
        • Megan – sounds to me like you have it all figured out and are Super Mom. Good for you. It also sounds to me like you have ONE child. I thought one kid was hard, and then I had a second. I can’t imagine trying to get something done with a third child or more, especially when they’re as young as mine are. Maybe one day you’ll find out what it’s like to have a clean house destroyed in under 15mins, maybe you won’t. Either way, maybe you shouldn’t criticize others for not being as fabulous a parent and homemaker as you are.

          For the rest of us who couldn’t possibly hold a candle to Megan’s parenting, let’s all go get a beer and talk about what bad mothers we are and how filthy our houses are, and laugh at those who think they know better than we do… because as you all know, we’re all doing what’s right for us and just trying to make it through the day. At least we don’t pretend it’s easy.

          Reply
          • Yes, I agree with you. I co-slept with my first child for a while and we were happy. I could sleep when he slept. House was never in order though, but I was not in bad shape. Well, second baby came and things got very different now. One child is up another is down. There are not naps for mom ever or just once in a while when they nap at the same time. Clean house?! Not after just 1-2 hours of interrupted sleep and maybe 4-5 hours a day in total here and there plus all the cooking. My house would be perfect if I just buy processed or take out food. But I care about health of my family more then about spotless house. I am trying to be happy mom. Kids will always remember happy mother not a clean house.

            Co-sleeping is a nice thing if it does not make you stressed out and very tired. No one should judge others for not doing it. It bugs me to hear these smart first time moms advices about everything. They alway know it all.

  52. Maretta Stiles via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    No babies here, but I live within 150 meters of two cell towers. :( One is disguised as a flag pole, the other is on a roof top. And we are right by a high school. Maybe those types of cell towers are less powerful?!?

    Reply
  53. Alicia Cousineau-Ingram via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Not sure if this is true but I also heard it is a way for predators to monitor the baby. They can pick up the radio frequency. I like the idea of a monitor though I don’t have one. To worried about all the negative things I hear.

    Reply
  54. Audria Clarke via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    My baby monitor has a battery operated wireless option for the receiver (mom’s side), but the nursery side is plug in. Any ideas on the safety there?? (We have thin walls, so rarely have them in use, thankfully!!)

    Reply
  55. Ok, call me stupid but I have no idea what an old-school plug in monitor looks like, and I’m 42! lol! I have an Angelcare monitor that has a base unit that sits on a dresser in our room (we all co-sleep) and we have two remote units that are wireless, but always sit in their cradles that are plugged in – in in the living room, one in the kitchen. I would gladly swap it out for something that is a wired version, but all I’ve ever known are those that have a base unit to put in the room with remote/wireless units that will let you hear what’s going on. Help?

    Reply
      • Speaking of cordless phones, your readers should also know that cordless home phones emit constant EMFs and are in many cases as bad or worse than cell phones (neither are good). A friend tested our cordless home phones with an EMF meter and it was just like sitting next to a running microwave oven, even when it was just sitting there not in use!

        Dump the cordless phones, cell phones, WiFi, baby monitors and microwaves.

        The internet is a good source for shopping for wired phones, though it is possible to find a limited selection in the usual electronics stores.

        Reply
  56. April Miles Thornton via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    So if the monitor is one that plugs into the wall it’s ok? That’s what we have. I keep it across the room from the crib and only use it at night as unfortunately the design of our house is such that the master bedroom is across the house from the other rooms. I don’t use it for naps as I am nearby and awake…but I’m a sound sleeper, so I doubt I’d hear the baby across the house in the middle of the night without the monitor.

    Reply
  57. Joyce Herron via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    We must use a wireless “baby” monitor in our home for safety. My 88 yr old mother lives iwth us. Her bedroom is down stairs and we bought this house because she can not climb stairs. The monitor is needed so that I can hear her during the night in case of a fall or other urgent need. Baby monitors were not around when my children were born. My grandson with autism requires 24/7 monitoring too. At night he can be seen and heard by my daughter via wireless monitors. He is nonverbal, does not know danger and must be locked in his room during the night for safety. The kids bedrooms are upstairs and the parents down. I agree about not using the monitors, but in some cases it is necessary. Love all you healthy tips and recipes.

    Reply
      • Very, very good point. As a matter of fact, this idea of eliminating all wired devices with “wireless” is an industry idea. Presently,during this time of economic downturn, the wireless industry ocntinues to show double digit profits.IN fact, industry lobbied government to make sure that biological effects from wireless devices were not included in the Safety codes used for placement of wireless towers.

        Reply
  58. Andrea Selaty via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    We used a wired video monitor that’s up and across the room because he makes no noise for hours after he wakes up. But still, this makes me feel like ahhhhh, it’s always something!!!

    Reply
  59. Marilu Martinez-Vargas via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    We have an old wired one that I still need to use because of my son’s health (even though he’s 6). Glad to know that one is safer!

    Reply
    • I’ve been wanting to install a wired video monitor for our baby; but haven’t anything other than the digital wireless variety. Would you kindly provide any information about the camera (brand, etc. ). Also, what type of display does the wire connect to? Any info on the display as well? I would really appreciate any info from you on this. I’m worried sick about exposing WiFi or IP signals to my child.
      Many thanks !!
      Mark

      Reply
  60. Thea Steggall via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I had no idea but I’m glad we didn’t have one. We had a regular monitor but didn’t need it much because I am such a light sleeper and she didn’t move into her room anyway until she was close to a year old.

    Reply
  61. Elizabeth Anne via Facebook November 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I never felt the need for any kind of monitor. If my baby is too far away for me to hear him cry, I am doing something wrong!

    Reply
    • That’s an very good perspective on that. Instead of relying on technology to babysit(ie TV,baby monitor) the old fashioned method is far superior. It has been proposed to give cell phones to kids who are being bullied to use when they are been harassed. Instead there should be public meetings and block parents established with councilling for those being bullied and mandatory courses for all students on the offenses of bullying.

      Reply

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