Cell Phone Use by Pregnant Mamas Could Breed Brats, Study Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals

Pregnant mom

Pregnant? A recent study suggests you might want to share the news in person. Credit: Getty

Every day, it seems, some new discovery is unearthed to make pregnant women pause, stress out and worry that the only way they're going to give birth to a healthy baby is to hibernate in a bubble for nine months.

Now comes the news that pregnant moms who use cell phones could increase the odds that their kids will be brats.

Researchers have found that the radiation exposure from cell phones increases the risk of having kids with behavioral problems, Reuters reports.

The study is likely to renew controversy over the safety of cell phones and whether or not they directly cause the behavioral problems, Reuters says.

"It is hard to understand how such low exposures could be influential," Dr. Leeka Kheifets, an epidemiologist at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study, tells Reuters in a telephone interview. "It is just something that needs to be pursued."

The researchers looked at data from 28,000 7-year-olds and their mothers who took part in a large Danish study that has been tracking 100,000 women who were pregnant between 1996 and 2002, according to the news service.

The mothers of about 3 percent of the children said their kids had borderline behavioral problems, and 3 percent showed abnormal behavior, such as obedience or emotional issues, the study showed.

The children whose mothers used cell phones while pregnant, and who also used the phones themselves, were 50 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, the researchers report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Children whose mothers used the phones but who did not themselves use mobile phones were 40 percent more likely to have behavioral problems, the study found. Researchers add that the children were no more likely to have epilepsy or delays in development.

About 5 billion mobile phones are in use worldwide, according to reports. However, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have found no evidence that cellphone use can damage health.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.