Are Laptops Safe Around Newborns?
If you plan on spending down time at home after your baby’s birth surfing the net or possibly even getting some work done, the thought that your laptops could harm your baby might send you into a panic.
There’s no reason to toss your laptop once your baby’s born, but take some simple safety precautions.
Laptops haven’t been proven harmful to newborns, but some issues take years to appear, so experts can’t say that they’re perfectly safe.
Laptops, which contain numerous electrical parts, produce electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, in the form of nonionizing radiation, which is less harmful than ionizing radiation from X-rays, according to the Health Physics Society.
Both the laptop itself and the power supply produce EMFs. In large doses, greater than 3 to 5 microtesla, or μT, EMFs could have a small but significant increase in the risk of childhood leukemia, an Italian study published in the “Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health” in 2012 stated.
If you use WiFi, a wireless signal transmitted via a router, you expose yourself and yournewborn to a small amount of radiofrequency radiation. The amount of RF radiation emitted by WiFi is not large enough to worry about, according to a 2012 position paper released by Princeton University.
However, the closer you or your baby are to the WiFi transmitter, which is built into the computer, the higher the dose of RF radiation.
When holding the laptop on your laptop, the amount of RF radiation you’re exposed to equals that of a cell phone, retired professor of physics Professor Lawrie Challis stated in a 2007 “Daily Telegraph” article.
Anyone who has held a laptop on their lap for any amount of time understands that the devices emit heat. Holding a laptop can increase scrotal temperature by 33.8 F — an amount of heat that can decrease sperm count — in between 11 and 28 minutes, depending on the position of the legs, a University of New York Stony Brook study published in the February 2011 issue of “Fertility and Sterility.”
While you’re not likely to use your newborn as a laptop holder, holding him in your lap while also holding your laptop there might not be wise.
Even if your baby’s a girl, you don’t want to risk excessive heat exposure to delicate tissues or developing organs.
Radiation is everywhere; you can’t avoid exposing your newborn to it altogether. But while laptops haven’t been proven risky for newborns unless you’re laying it over the top of them, it makes sense to limit exposure as much as possible.
Move your baby away from the laptop when you’re using it.
Preventing body contact with either the laptop itself or the power supply cord is prudent, for both you and your newborn.
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