Every year, on 20th November there is the UNICEF Universal Children's Day. Every child should have a right for safe and healthy childhood, according to the UNICEF convention.
This day in mind, my hometown Tampere arranged a week full of program. Together with the Member of the European Parliament, Mrs. Satu Hassi and Child Ombudsman Mrs. Tiia Heinäsuo we had a subtheme called "Children and Health Risks of Mobile Phones" and a related panel.
Children and teenagers have become the target group for the marketing of mobile communications. These risky 'microwave toys' are now in hands of little children and they heavily play with them, sometimes many hours a day, sending and receiving videos & music with unlimited 3G account + talking to their friends The Thing glued to their heads for hours. With children this head&stomach -exposure is much more riskier (see the picture) than with adults.
Often childrens' parents don't care, because A) they know nothing about health risks B) mobile phone provides entertainment for their children and makes them accessible if needed :-\ Parents definitely should read the Disconnect book by Devra Davis.
During the UNICEF day in November 2010 the local newspaper, Aamulehti wrote important articles and had a nice, educative cartoon (above). This cartoon spread to several A.M-chain newspapers.
Before that event, I met with professor in physiology, MD Osmo Hänninen all child protection organisations in Helsinki. We had a presentation about children's risks. Well, it is not the prettiest slideset because we really needed to have their attention!! Some of those multinational child protection organisations are sponsored by mobile industry.... and that is why it is really difficult to get their attention.
BTW, how would we get UNICEF to focus on health risks of mobile technologies? As part of the next Universal Children's Day?