Cell phones are the main devices under fire because they're used so close to the brain and because they rely on 5G and Wi-Fi, which emit stronger EMF than, for example, household electrical wires.1,2
When it comes to children, the major concern is that their brains absorb more EMF than an adult brain. Compared to adults, children have thinner skulls, a higher percentage of water in their brains, and other anatomical differences related to marrow and stem cells—all of which affect how EMF interacts with their brain tissue.3,4,5 Plus, MRI scans explicitly show that radio frequencies penetrate further into a child's brain than into an adult's, meaning more brain tissue is affected.6,7
But, as we mentioned, all of that research was conducted using cell phones. There’s no conclusive data on baby monitors specifically, and the advantages of these monitors often outweigh those worries.
Now for the big question: is all that EMF harmful? Yes. Although some researchers continue to say that more evidence is needed, many of the studies in our source list refer to EMF as a known carcinogen. There is also some evidence that EMF exposure can increase the risk of depression.9
That said, no one has been able to pinpoint exactly how much EMF exposure causes these health effects. Since smartphones, tablets, and other EMF-emitting devices that kids play with up-close are still relatively new, it's difficult to say what the long-term implications are.
We recommend taking a moderate approach to limiting your child's EMF exposure. You don't need to move to the wilderness or swear off all electronic devices, but do avoid plunking your kid down in front of a tablet for hours of entertainment every day.
Also, consider talking to your pediatrician about your child's family history of leukemia and other cancers—it may make sense for you to take a more restrictive approach to EMF exposure if childhood cancer runs in the family.