All of us consider the protection of our children to be paramount. That’s why we wonder about the amount of EMF — electromagnetic radiation — that our children are exposed to while they’re in kindergartens and schools.
Because of this, we’re going to examine how widespread WiFi usage is in these educational institutions, and why some countries are pulling back from such practices. We’ll cover several fields of concern and discuss which action was already taken along the way. Without any ado, let’s dive right into it.
How Much Radiation Is My Child Exposed to at School?
First off, let’s take a look at what WiFi technology is in the first place, and why it has a place in our schools. WiFi is tech that enables school computers (and any computers, for that matter), to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Its sole purpose is to let a multitude of computers that are located on school grounds have an Internet connection without complex wiring and cables.
However, many people today think that WiFi is a necessity, and the only Internet connection you can have. That is not the case, and there are alternatives.
WiFi works by transporting information data between a wireless access point (a router) and a laptop or desktop computer. The same goes for cell phones, which can send and receive WiFi signals just as well as computers these days.
All of these devices do that by exchanging radio signals at high frequencies — in other words, by emitting microwave radiation. This is the same type of frequency you would find in a microwave oven, or near a cell tower.
There are three primary reasons why schools tend to use WiFi. First of all, the only alternative for an Internet connection is hard wiring. WiFi is far cheaper than putting down wires, because that might mean a significant remodel. Second of all, WiFi is considered to be a basic utility these days, akin to water or electricity. And finally, it’s convenient — enabling portable computers and phones to have an Internet connection anywhere.
While all of these reasons may seem justified, in reality — WiFi means extensive exposure to electromagnetic radiation, particularly in schools. After all, the entire point of WiFi in buildings is for the signal to cover the entirety of the interior, and some of the exterior. That means complete radiation 24/7.
As you will see below, the effects of EMF on children’s health are still being researched. Right now, the jury’s still out on just how much damage EMF does — but many pieces of anecdotal evidence suggest that this isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Keeping all of that in mind, schools should strive to become hard-wired. This would reduce the amount of radiation significantly, as classrooms wouldn’t require routers to be connected to the Internet. With enough Ethernet cables, everyone could still connect their laptops to the Internet.
If the lobbying for WiFi in the school is significant and the public opinion demands some sort of half-measure, there’s always a compromise. For instance, adults that are present in the building, such as teachers, parents, and other staff may use WiFi when children are not in the school.
Realistically, any system updates and data backups that require WiFi could be performed with a hardline connection — but if someone insists on WiFi, that can be done overnight or in other hours when the school is pretty much empty. Additionally, if removing WiFi isn’t an option, routers that are usually placed in classrooms could easily be moved away. They could also be switched off when the Internet is not needed for school-related activities.
Unfortunately, WiFi routers aren’t the only source of electromagnetic radiation found in schools. In this day and age, most people use smartphones that are practically small computers you carry around in your pocket. They also have WiFi capabilities, as well as 5G data connections and general cellular communication.
This means that phone usage is just a big of a problem as WiFi routers, if not a bigger one. Firstly, because it’s practically a small router that you keep in your pocket — and secondly because the other signals that it uses are also wireless and work on EMF frequencies.
Of course, children use phones outside of school practically all the time. But they spend a third of their day in schools; meaning that curbing their WiFi usage in schools would also mean lowering the adverse effects on their health.
How Much Radiation Is My Child Exposed to at Kindergarten?
Everything that we’ve said regarding the effects of EMF radiation on school-age children is true for younger kids in kindergartens; though the circumstances are somewhat different. For one, kindergartners don’t have phones in such massive numbers. However, their facilities still have WiFi in 2020.
This is a worldwide problem — studies in both Italy and Israel have found that recommending less WiFi exposure for kindergarteners is definitely a great idea. In fact, the Ministry of Health in Israel has routinely raised the awareness of the public regarding the need to reduce EMF radiation around children.
Similarly, a regional parliament in Italy (South Tyrol) actually enacted local regulation that guides kindergartens and schools towards replacing WiFi with hardwired Internet connections whenever possible, or at least replacing them with less powerful routers that have a shorter range.
The primary reason for this is that the potential to develop cancer is higher in children who are a lot less resistant to the adverse effects of radiation. Many Ministries of Health have argued for the replacement of cell phone usage in kindergartens with old-fashioned landlines; these phones connected by wires still enable a decent level of communication, but without the dangers of electromagnetic radiation.
Is Wifi in Schools Proven to Be Dangerous?
Unfortunately, no scientific studies have concluded the absolute detrimental effects of WiFi. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence and claims to its negative properties; claims that can’t be easily ignored.
For instance, multiple children in schools in France complained about having extremely difficult headaches during their time in the classroom. This was, in all cases, coupled with feelings of fatigue, and even spontaneous rashes. Parents reported that their children seemed to be completely exhausted after school.
Once all of the concerned parents found each other on the Internet, they had realized something — all of their children reported these symptoms after WiFi came to their schools. Of course, many parents would ignore this on account of not knowing anything about WiFi technology.
However, sooner or later, many of the parents came to the conclusion that this technology and its radio waves are what has been causing health problems in their kids. In many cases, these were children that were seated particularly close to where the WiFi routers were placed in their classrooms.
Unfortunately, the schools that agreed to ban WiFi and replace it with hardline connections are rare. Because of this, many of the children that were having issues have switched to homeschooling.
This is disheartening, as there is ample evidence that can be tied to the detrimental effects of WiFi on children and their bodies. After all, both phone data and WiFi signals are transmitted using microwave radiation, as we have mentioned above.
In essence, that means that any children that spend their time in school are constantly engulfed in an electromagnetic field. According to some studies, there are two major sections where WiFi may be quite damaging — and these are fertility and oxidative stress.
When it comes to the former, we needn’t look much further than the cell and animal studies which have successfully showcased that sperm has reduced mobility after continued exposure to EMF. And this has been spotted in both individual cell trials and in actual live animals. By extent, this means that WiFi users may also be affected.
The same goes for oxidative stress which can cause major inflammations. This is a particularly worrisome thing for pregnant women and small children. In kids, all of the human cells are in the process of developing and growing. Also, the bones of small children are less sturdy and softer, meaning that they attract radiation more easily. When it comes to pregnant women, they are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF because their immune systems don’t tend to be as functional during their pregnancies.
It should be noted that there are some ways to lessen these effects. For instance, WiFi routers do not necessarily have to work continuously. In today’s world, they do — all of us have WiFi on 24/7, meaning that the cumulative amounts of radiation that we are subjected to add up to quite a lot.
However, there are certain patents in the mobile industry that want to alter the way current WiFi routers work. Today, mobile routers work on a 10 Hz signal, meaning ten times each second. This kind of pulse is an issue because our brains operate on a similar wavelength; meaning the two may coalesce and disrupt our sleep as well as our cognitive abilities.
The patents that wish to prevent this work on a simple principle — they want to implement an option to shut down continuous device signaling if the WiFi is actually not in use. As a result, the microwave radiation that is spread throughout the surrounding environment would be radically decreased if there is no actual traffic.
So, the WiFi routers would work only when a device connects to them — in other words, only when they’re actually needed. However, before this kind of technology is mass-marketed, it would be wise to just shut down WiFi routers if they’re not in use.
With all of this in mind, you may be wondering why a majority of schools have not banned WiFi yet? This is because the mainstream science community tends to downplay the risks of WiFi exposure, sticking to the currently enacted guidelines on public EMF exposure and radiation.
That’s a problem, seeing as these guidelines have been put in place two decades ago. Thus, they’re severely outdated, and fail to take many recent discoveries into account. For instance, they don’t talk about the potential biological effects of WiFi signals.
Plus, all of these guidelines were designed for individual devices. But when there is always a working WiFi router nearby, and each child in the classroom has a phone in their pocket — this is severely amplified.
Unfortunately, this means the both the staff and children are constantly in exposure of huge microwave radiation counts, solely because of guidelines that are woefully out of date.
Groups dedicated to environmental health such as the EUROPAEM (European Academy for Environmental Medicine) put down WiFi among the riskier radiation technologies. In their guidelines, this group points to just how quickly WiFi signals disperse and affect the calcium channels in children’s bones. These channels may, if opened without cause and unnaturally, lead to severe diseases.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that school-age children are at their optimal levels of cognitive ability. This also means that their brains are simply better suited towards conductivity. On top of that, the skull tissue in children is thinner — all of this means that radiation is able to penetrate into their brain with far more effectiveness.
And not only that, but kids are exposed to WiFi and similar EMF signals from electronic devices from a far younger age than most people. Thus, they’re more susceptible to all kinds of negative effects that come with this exposure. Considering that, banning WiFi from schools and kindergartens is a bigger priority than, for instance, removing it from an adult workplace.
Which Countries Have Already Banned Wifi at Schools?
Among European governments, we’d be remiss not mentioning how adaptive France has been when it comes to the growing concerns regarding WiFi exposure. Back in 2015, the National Assembly of France actually reached a historic conclusion on the dangers of EMF. The Assembly passed a law that aims to reduce the amounts of exposure from EMF devices.
First and foremost, they want to ban WiFi-enabled devices in nursery schools — an essential step, considering this is when children are most adversely affected. Also, the usage of WiFi is to be significantly reduced in public schools when it comes to children younger than 11.
Also, the French school management authorities now have to be told whenever a school wants to install a new piece of electronic equipment. This ensures that no school will go beyond the current EMF guidelines in the future with any new devices.
Crucially, the French Parliament wants to track the developments on electrosensitivity (EHS). This is a health issue that’s been (so-far) disregarded by some of the leading medical authorities, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s definitely a real problem. That’s why the Parliament in France has decided to produce an annual report on the developments in electrosensitivity research, providing some much-needed political momentum to the issue.
This isn’t just important for France on its own. Such legislation represents an immense and significant step forward in the battle to reduce EMF radiation across the world, and raise awareness in the public on this major issue. With France being an important player on the international stage, all nations are bound to take notice of the issue and think about their own legislation.
This is something that the country has in common with Italy, Australia, Spain, Israel, and Belgium. All of the abovementioned countries have taken certain steps to reduce or entirely remove WiFi technology from schools.
This is no coincidence, nor is it pure politics. A growing number of prestigious studies with proper peer reviews have begun showing the dangerous effects of electromagnetic radiation, particularly on younger children. Seeing as both cell phone signals and WiFi are an example of such technologies with pulsed microwave radiation, this is a big problem. As we have outlined above, this type of radiation may produce long-term DNA damage and oxidative stress if not treated properly.
How Can I Protect My Child If School Is Still Having Wifi?
Keeping everything that we’ve talked about in mind, you must be wondering how you can actually protect your children from the dangers of WiFi in schools.
Let’s get one thing straight right away — you can’t easily control how much WiFi and other EMF your children are exposed to once they leave your home and go to school. Simply put, there are too many variables — from other children and their devices, to the staff and the adults at school.
However, what you can do is raise a voice and try to enlist other parents to help as well. At the end of the day, schools need to enact policies that a majority of parents agree with. That’s what started the revolution on WiFi policing in other countries as well.
Considering that, we recommend talking to other parents and showing them all of the inherent dangers of WiFi. Then, you can come together and present a joint cause to the school administration. Even if this doesn’t produce any kind of effect immediately, you’re likely to make a splash that’s big enough to get policymakers thinking.
We hope that this guide was useful to you and that you have learned something new today regarding the effects of WiFi on children. Make sure that you are staying safe and have a good one, guys!