Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy Connected to Behavior Problems in Kids

Using your cell phone during pregnancy may set your baby up for hyperactivity and attention problems later in life.

The Scoop

Sure, it’s a more convenient way to communicate. But could using a cell phone during pregnancy increase the likelihood you will have a misbehaved child? That’s what researchers from UCLA think after their study of over 13,000 children showed that kids who were exposed to cell phones, both in the womb and after birth (up to age 7), had a higher likelihood of behavioral problems than those who had mothers who stuck to landline telephones only.

Published online December 7, 2010, in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, researchers note an increase in behavior problems, including hyperactivity and attention and social issues, in children whose mothers had the highest self-reported cell phone use.

For Baby

Hold that call? Before ditching your cell, it’s important to note that even scientists involved with the study are a bit unsure why cell phones could be connected to behavior problems, especially whether or not the problems may stem from excess radiation exposure.

“These are important findings, but we are just at the beginnings of learning about potential effects of cell phones,” says study co-author Leeka Kheifets, a researcher with the Department of Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, via CNN.

But other childhood health experts cite the parent, not the phone, as the driving force behind these findings. According to some behavior specialists, misbehavior is likely tied to parental distraction.

“Cell phones are now a continuous part of our lives so that can really impact how much we can really pay attention to our kids,” says Dr. Douglas Vanderbilt, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in an interview with ABC News.

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