Is there a safe baby monitor with low radiation?

What radiation do baby monitors emit; Are there risks for the baby's health? Guide to choosing a baby monitor. Which are the safest? Analog or digital? Can audio and video from your wireless intercom be intercepted?

baby sleeping next to wireless baby monitor

Wireless high-frequency antennas next to infants - is it a good idea?

Infant intercom devices (baby monitors) consist of a transmitter and a receiver or two transceivers that constantly emit high-frequency radiation (wireless).

Some scientists argue that children's exposure to elevated levels of electromagnetic radiation can result in incomplete or problematic development of the brain and is possibly associated with the significant and continuous increase in the percentage of children who have hyperactivity, attention deficit, pervasive developmental disorder or autistic spectrum disorders (autism, etc.), aggression, psychological problems etc.

There has been a 60-fold increase in ASD in recent years, which cannot be accounted for by improvements in diagnostic methods and can only be explained by changes in the environment. This increase corresponds in time to the proliferation of mobile telecommunications, Wi-Fi, and microwave ovens as well as extremely low frequency fields from household wiring and domestic appliances. We can now explain at least some of this in terms of electromagnetically-induced membrane leakage leading to brain hyperactivity and abnormal brain development. Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, former lecturer Imperial College London [1]

Is there is a baby monitor with low radiation?

In most countries the permissible by law safe limits of exposure to high frequency radiation are so high, that even if your baby wears a hat with a wi-fi antenna on his head all day it would be considered safe.

In recent years many scientific bodies have proposed new safe exposure limits (<100mW / m2) to protect the public from artificial electromagnetic fields, based on new studies showing that even low, non-thermal, radiation levels can lead to serious health effects. These limits are exceeded in most cases when there is a baby monitor in the same room.

It is unlikely that there is a wireless baby monitor with minimal radiation emissions, because very low transmission power would make the baby monitor work only for a very small distance.

Did you know that baby monitors antennas can expose your child to more radiation than a neighboring cell phone mast? This is because baby monitors, although they have lower power than cell phone masts are located indoors and in very shorter distances. You can easily measure the radiation from your baby monitor or other wireless radiation sources with a simple to use  high-frequency radiation meter.

"Because there are suggestions that RF exposure may be more hazardous for the fetus and child due to their greater susceptibility, prudent avoidance is one approach to keeping children’s exposure as low as possible."  World Health Organization [2]

Possible effects on children's development

Wireless radiation emitted by baby monitors, mobile and cordless phones, wireless modems (Wi-Fi) etc.:

  • inhibit the formation of abnormal electromagnetic activity of the brain, which is stabilized at around age 12, which explains the increasing incidence of hyperactivity and epilepsy in children ages according to Dr. Gerard Hyland, biophysicist at Warwick University and 2 times nominated for the Nobel Prize of Medicine [3]
  • cause the creation of many random and useless neural connections, which explains the usually larger skull of autistic children, according to Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, former assistant of Imperial College London [4]
  • Detunes the initial calibration of the brain networks and the mirror-neuron system in newborns, leading to autistic behavior patterns (Thornton [5]) and are a possible cause of the contemporary increase in cases of autism (Kane [6])

"The adverse effects of electrosmog may take decades to be appreciated, although some, like carcinogenicity, are already starting to surface. This gigantic experiment on our children and grandchildren could result in massive damage to mind and body with the potential to produce a disaster of unprecedented proportions, unless proper precautions are immediately implemented." Paul Rosch, professor of medicine at New York Medical School [7]

mother frustrated holding baby

Why are infants are more vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation?

  • their immune system is less developed than that of adults
  • the increased proliferation of infant cells makes them more vulnerable to genetic damage [8]
  • the biological effects on cell growth caused by exposure to artificial radiation are much greater in young and rapidly growing cells than in adult ones (Kwee 2003 [9] )
  • the penetration of the radiation is deeper in minors because of their smaller brain size, the thinner bone and larger water capacity (increased conductivity).

See the difference in the absorption of radiation of mobile phones from the brains of one adult, one child 5 and one 10 years [10] (from left to right) :

infant and adult brains cell phone radiation penetration

Read more about the effects of radiation in children and pregnant women..Read more about the effects of radiation in children and pregnant women..

Interception of wireless signal

The interception of audio and video from wireless baby monitors has gotten much larger dimensions than you might think in recent years.

Despite assurances to the contrary by some manufacturers, the signal from the baby monitor can be intercepted.

Moreover, in recent years, live images from baby monitor cameras are intercepted and broadcasted live online.

Read related articles:

How 'home hackers' spy on you and your children ... with YOUR webcam: The shocking evidence that shows how private lives are snooped on and streamed live on web

How secure is your baby monitor? Home hackers spy on private lives

The Internet of Things: New Threats Emerge in a Connected World

Digital or analog baby monitor?

The analog type baby monitors broadcast in frequencies 40-900MHz and usually have lower radiation emissions than the digital ones. They are also more economic, however they are considered more vulnerable to interference and eavesdropping.

Digital broadcasting baby monitors (usually DECT) transmit at frequencies 1800-2400MHz, are often encrypted to prevent interception of the signal, but many claim this is sufficient to avoid signal interception. They are aslo vulnerable to interference when placed near other microwave sources (eg cordless phones and wi-fi modems).

Moreover, the digital baby monitors typically have higher emissions than the analog type. In addition, the digital-pulse waveform is considered by many scientists biologically more burdensome than the analog sinusoidal waveform.

Bioinitiative Report (report by international team of scientists who summed up data from more than 2000 studies on the effects of artificial electromagnetic fields) concludes that:

"There is substantial scientific evidence that some modulated fields (pulsed or repeated signals) are bioactive, which increases the likelihood that they could have health impacts with chronic exposure even at very low exposure levels. Modulation signals may interfere with normal, non-linear biological processes. Modulation is a fundamental factor that should be taken into account in new public safety standards; at present it is not even a contributing factor." [11]

Safer alternatives - Wired intercom

Good alternative to wireless devices are wired intercom systems which are connected via cable or the existing electric circuits of the apartment.

There is also the option of wired surveillance cameras. These systems, include cameras and small screen, giving you the ability to have visual and auditory contact with your child's room.

Is intercom really necessary?

It is rather surprising how he managed to survive as humans without baby monitors until today.

As the pediatrician and author Claudia Gold says baby monitors abuse parents vulnerability for profit [12], as they are not a necessity, except for some specific cases where the child has a medical condition for which continued monitoring is recommended.

Prevention of sudden infant death syndrome?

Although advertised as a major benefit of baby monitors, there is no evidence that they help prevent sudden infant death syndrome [13].

In contrast, many doctors believe that baby monitors give parents a false sense of security [14].

Infant choking

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents that the wires of baby monitors (wired or wireless ones) pose a risk for choking the infant when placed very near the cribs.

In the USA Since 2002, seven infants have been strangled by baby monitor cords [15].

Less actual care

Baby monitoring can reduce the time parents actually deal with the baby themselves.

More anxious parents

Parents are more anxious and wake up more often than necessary, especially if the baby monitor gives frequent false alarms.

Development of negative sleep patterns

The immediate response of the parents to each sound of the baby monitor, according to some research negatively affects the sleeping patterns of babies, by not letting them learn how to calm themsleves. [16]

If you insist on buying a wireless baby monitor ..

  • Prefer analog type rather than digital type.
  • Avoid baby monitors with bidirectional communication by which a parent can talk with the child, because these will have elevated radiation emissions from both parents and baby units.
  • Avoid baby monitor with lots of lights - affect nighttime melatonin production - safer light color red.
  •  Move the baby monitor as far as possible (at least 2 meters away) from the child's crip.
  • Buy a high-frequency radiation meter to record the radiation in the children's bedroom from the baby monitor and other sources of electromagnetic radiation so you avoid placing the cot in the most burdened areas.

Wireless baby monitors, in our opinion, may be the most dangerous source of radiation today, since the development of the nervous system occurs only once in every person's life and the possible harm to infant brain is irreversible.



[1] Andrew Goldsworthy, The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields, MCSA NEWS, VOLUME seven, ISSUE 7, JULY 2012

[2] WHO 2002. Children’s Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence: A Joint Report from the European Environmental Agency and The World Health Organization

[3] The Physiological and Environmental Effects of Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation, GJ Hyland , http://www.whale.to/b/hyland1.html

[4] Andrew Goldsworthy, The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields, MCSA NEWS, VOLUME on the 7th, the 7th ISSUE, JULY 2012

[5] Thornton IM., Out of Time: A Possible Link Between Mirror neurons, Autism and Electromagnetic Radiation

[6] Robert C. Kane, Ph.D., A Possible Association Between Fetal / neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and The Increased Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), "Medical Hypotheses" Journal, Volume 62, Issue the 2nd, February 2004, Pages 195-197

[7] Camilla Rees- Magda Havas, Public Health SOS - The Shadow Side of The Wireless Revolution

[8] Don Maisch, Children and Mobile Phones ... Is There A Health Risk ?, Journal of Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine - Vol. 22 No. 2; August 2003: page 3-8

[9] Interview Prof. Sianette Kwee, Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Aarhus, Denmark. (September, 2001), Article Children and Mobile Phones ... Is There a Health Risk ?,

[10] Ghandi O, Kang G, (1996), The Effect of Head size on SAR for Mobile Telephones AT 835 and 1900MHz.

[11] http://www.bioinitiative.org

[12] "Baby monitors abuse The vulnerability of Parents for Profit", http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/baby-monitors-abuse-vulnerability-parents-profit.html

[13] Cot Death and Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS), http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/c/sids

[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_monitor

[15] US Consumer Product Safety Commission Alert, Children Can Strangle in Baby Monitor Cords, http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/75468/5066.pdf

[16] Baby monitors in A Nutshell, http://www.babysense.com/peaceful-nights/sleeping-advice/baby-monitors-in-a-nutshell

Image courtesy of Suat Eman and By David Castillo Dominici, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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