There was much controversy recently about using Apple’s interesting product called AirTags. Namely, parents have been using them to track their children, while the recommended use is to track items only. Why did Apple precisely say that AirTags are for items only and not for humans, and why is tracking our children with this device controversial?
Apple AirTags emit EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation which can be harmful to humans. Well, most everyday devices emit EMF radiation, and AirTags do so in small amounts. But do we really need one more device to expose ourselves and, more importantly, our children to harmful radiation?
The short answer is – no. As mentioned, Apple has explicitly stated that these devices are meant for tracking objects only, and they urge people not to use them to track children and pets. Read on to find out more.
What are Apple AirTags and how do they work?
One of the smallest and most affordable devices in the Apple range is the AirTag. It is a small disc-shaped device made to work in the Apple ecosystem. It monitors small items like keys, wallets, backpacks, cameras, etc.
There are similar products for tracking, such as Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag. The advantage of the AirTag is that it is smaller, looks better, and has a better design in terms of performance. You can attach this device to a small personal item, for example, a key link.
Anyone who uses bags or backpacks knows that the keys are always lost, somehow wander to the bottom, or get stuck between other things. If you put AirTags via Bluetooth, locating them is much easier. It is possible to connect more AirTags to the phone, and then a network of things you follow is formed within the “Find my” application.
AirTag works most efficiently in a small radius, similarly to Bluetooth. The device itself runs on a battery that is changed once a year. AirTag can “cooperate” with all iOS devices.
Can I use Apple AirTags to track my children?
You should definitely avoid this.
As the device is battery-powered and uses a wireless connection and data transmission (Bluetooth), the device will emit tiny amounts of EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation.
The EMF is known to be harmful to human beings, especially younger ones. Even though our smartphones, tablets, WiFi routers, and several other devices do emit EMF as well, we are less exposed to such radiation due to the distance between us and the device. Your WiFi router is somewhere in the corner of the room, and you approach it only when it’s not working. The smartphone is often charged and therefore not in close proximity.
But, those who are pondering on using AirTags as tracking devices for their children will place the device near a child for several hours. A child in development (both physical and cognitive) should not be exposed to EMF radiation at all, let alone for several hours a day.
The EMF radiation will cause several adverse effects on children, most notably sleeping disorders, hyperactivity (both of which will trigger lower concentration and cognitive development), and eating disorders often leading to diabetes. Therefore, all EMF radiation should be limited to the absolute minimum, if not removed entirely from our children’s lives.
Is it safe to use Apple AirTags to track my pet?
Like children, our pets are small and much more susceptible to EMF radiation. If electromagnetic waves can penetrate thick brick walls, can you imagine how much radiation our cat or chihuahua will feel?
Besides, several EMF radiation pieces of research have been conducted on animals, and the results are worrying. In short, animals are much more prone to EMF radiation exposure and will feel its full effects.
If you care about your children and pets, you will not use Apple AirTags to track them. Several other devices can do the job just fine and are a much better option than AirTags. You can find here a waterproof GPS tracker on Amazon.com, specially made for pets.
How to use Apple AirTags safely?
If indeed you feel like this device is good enough for tracking children and you feel extra worried about them, there are a few ways that you can use AirTags that will reduce the harmful effects to a minimum.
1. Never put them directly onto your children
As AirTags emit EMF radiation, they should not be directly in contact with children. Avoid attaching them near kids’ skin or bodies in general. Instead, you can put them in their backpack. Also, the child must put the bag a few feet away from them when they do not need them—this way, the child will be distanced from the electromagnetic field.
2. Use protective cases
Some materials absorb (or contain) EMF radiation. Find such EMF shields and teach your child to put the device into such containers when the AirTag is not needed. These shields might impede the device from working, so be sure that the child puts the device in it after they have reached the desired destination.
3. Take the battery out
This approach is the most extreme and barely used, but it’s an option nevertheless. Your child can take the battery out of the device and hence make it stop working (it’s the only way to make it stop working). Remember that putting the battery back inside will probably reset the device.
As you can see, AirTags do emit EMF, which is harmful to both human beings and pets and should not be used in such a way as tracking them. Even the Apple company clearly stated that AirTags are for tracking objects only.
But if you are highly concerned about your child’s safety at a specific period, it is advisable to take all precautions possible.