EMF Exposures from Baby Monitors + SolutionsJul 20, 2017
Parents who use baby monitors are among the most well-intentioned: They use baby monitors as a way to keep their children safe.
So it feels especially important—and difficult—to inform them that those baby monitors may pose risks to their children: Baby monitors can emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that may threaten the developing brain.
While long-term effects of EMFs, including microwave radiation, on children’s developing brains are just beginning to be discovered (as you can watch in the video below), what is known is that a child’s brain is not fully developed until around age 20. During development, the skull is thinner to allow its continued development and growth and can absorb more radiation. Collectively, these are key factors that render a child’s brain more vulnerable than an adult's to EMF exposures.
While it's best to avoid unnecessary EMF exposures, if you still find using baby monitors worthwhile, this article provides key information to know, including three safer alternatives to consider.
Baby Monitors and EMFs
A baby monitor is an electronic device consisting of a one-way radio or video transmitter with a portable receiver for remotely listening to or observing an otherwise unattended child.
It's helpful to remember that exposure levels increase the closer you are to the EMF sources. So, with baby monitors that are turned on, your child's EMF exposures increase with proximity to it.
The base station transmitter of a baby monitor is usually either attached to the baby’s body or kept near the crib, while the parent takes the receiver and either wears it in a hip pocket, on a belt, or places it nearby to respond to the baby’s crying. In any scenario, both the transmitter and the receiver are in close proximity to the baby and parent, possibly emitting high EMF exposure levels.
1. Every parent needs to know that baby monitors:
- Constantly emit microwave radiation while switched on (both the base and the parent handset)
- Have fine print warnings that the device should be a certain distance, like 20 cm (8 inches), from the body
- Are risky because a baby's brain is developing and is vulnerable to EMFs
2. If You Must Use a Baby Monitor, Research Safer Baby Monitors
If you need to use a baby monitor, remember that some are safer than others. Below are three products that are reported (1) to have reduced levels of EMFs. However, better products and information emerge every year so research the best one for your family. I share the ones below to provide examples of key things to look for.
- A wired baby monitor setup from D-Link
- For European parents, the NUK BabyPhone (Only available in Europe)
- For American parents, the SmartNOVA Baby Monitor
i. D-Link Wired Baby Monitor
D-Link Wired Baby Monitor is a wired baby monitor that has the functionality of a modern wireless baby monitor. The data from the baby monitor will be sent via Ethernet or your in-home power lines.
You will need to purchase two items for this baby monitor setup: an Ethernet-enabled D-Link Camera (2) and the Powerline Adaptor Kit. The total cost is in the same ballpark as most high-end wireless baby monitors.
The D-Link wired baby monitor allows you to avoid placing a powerful microwave-radiating transmitter next to your newborn. One disadvantage is the health risks from the reported "dirty electricity" from the PLC data transmission system, which EMFAnalysis.com(1) reports as a potentially worthwhile tradeoff. This is caused by the data being sent using electromagnetic interference (EMI) on your home wiring.
ii. NUK BabyPhone
The NUK BabyPhone features the latest DECT technology, including a useful “Eco-mode” that only uses microwave radiation to transmit data when the baby moves. This is reported to reduce the transmissions (and power use) by approximately 90%!
In summary, if you must use a baby monitor, the NUK BabyPhone could significantly reduce baby monitor EMFs in your home. It is reported to offer low radiation emissions, reduced emission strength, and low power consumption in eco-mode.
According to its manufacturer, SmartNOVA uses 97% less radiation than the normal DECT baby monitors.
Manufacturers of the SmartNOVA have managed to greatly reduce the radiated power from the monitor by using a technology called CARE (Cordless Anti-Radiation Environment), a digital radio technology with a very low power output that does not rely on rapid bursts of high power, like DECT.(3)
The Norwegian manufacturer, NOVA, claims the following radio frequency outputs from the different technologies available in baby monitors:
- DECT baby monitor <250 mW pulsing radiation
- ECO DECT baby monitor <50 mW pulsing radiation
- CARE baby monitor <5 mW non-pulsing radiation
3. Additional Tips for Reducing Your Child's EMF Exposure
If using a baby monitor, the additional tips below will help reduce your child's EMF exposures.
- Don’t place the monitor directly next to your baby. The more distance between your child and the baby monitor, the less EMF exposures.
- Turn on the baby monitor only when you absolutely need it
- Placing a tin foil barrier between the camera device and your baby, and making a small pinhole for the camera lens, has been recommended to reduce EMF exposures. However, I would avoid placing tin foil within grabbing-distance of your child.
4. Baby Monitors Aren’t The Only Source of EMFs
Baby monitors are just one of the many devices in your home that emit harmful EMFs. In today's technology- and wireless- obsessed world, our radiation exposures to EMFs have never before been this intense and chronic.
Below are other everyday household items you should critically-assess (especially in proximity to your little ones):
- WiFi Routers
- Wireless Modems
- Cordless Phones
- Smart TVs
- Smart/Wireless Thermostat
- Smart/Wireless Security System
- Wireless Printers
- Digital Alarm Clocks
- Bluetooth Devices (keyboards, speakers, computer mouse)
- Cell Phones
5. Detox your home of EMFs from other sources
It can be challenging to balance the convenience of modern technology with the health and wellness of our family. Most people are probably resilient to a moderate level of exposure. But some are uniquely vulnerable (like fetuses and children) and others are sensitive to EMFs (the term is electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)).
If you would like guidance on how to detox your home of EMFs, then check out our 21-Day Digital Detox course. It'll help you hack EMFs from sources that you can harness.
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions or helpful tips for other mothers, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out to us!
(2) D-Link Camera
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