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French Law Cracks Down on Cell Phone Use by Children: Bans Advertising and Phones Designed for Kids

France bans cell phones for kids
First the French ban TV for children under three-years-old, now the French government is concerned about the negative health effects of mobile devices on children. From cancer to other diseases, cell phone use is especially dangerous to children.

Swedish researchers have found that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer from mobile phones, causing concern their may be an epidemic of the disease for young people later in life.

The French response to this growing concern of the safety of cell phones for children is threefold:

  1. NO advertising of mobile phones directed at children under 12.
  2. BANS the sale of cell phones designed for children under 6-years-old.
  3. Introduce new limits for radiation from the phones and require mobile phones to be sold with earphones.

French cities have also started an advertising campaign warning parents about the dangers of cell phone use for children, as well as discouraging their purchase as gifts over the holidays.

According to the Independent, the French cell phone ban is unique in Europe:

The clampdown represents the most comprehensive action yet taken by any government worldwide. It contrasts sharply with the stance of British ministers, who have largely ignored the recommendations of an official report nine years ago that people aged under 16 should be discouraged from using mobiles, and that the industry should be stopped from promoting them to children. Since then their use by the young has almost doubled, so that nine out of 10 of the country’s 16-year-olds own a handset.

The French Ministry has warned, “mobile phone use is increasing at a rapid pace among youths”, and that young children may be “more sensitive because their bodies are still developing”.

Other countries have also issued warning statements about the use of cell phones by children:

  • Toronto’s Department of Public Health:  Children under eight should only use mobiles in emergencies; teenagers should limit calls to 10 minutes or less.
  • Russian Ministry of Health: Young people under 18 should not use cell phones.
  • Israel’s Health Ministry:  Advises caution

Even though I don’t live in France, I certainly will think twice about letting my children us a mobile phone (not that they do anyways since they don’t work where I live).  I don’t feel like young children need their own mobile devices, although I do see the benefits of teenagers having them for emergencies and to stay in touch with parents (even if they use them more for calls and texts with friends). Given all the attention on mobile devices, it really makes me wonder about the radiation the cell phone towers are giving off into our air space.

Image:  derek olson on Flickr under a Creative Commons License


  1. Is there really a company out there that makes a mobile phone for children under 6? I don’t know a single person, even those who spoil there kids rotten with every material possession, who would buy a mobile phone for someone that age or younger.

  2. Instinctively I’ve had the feeling for years that cell phones were probably not safe for kids, but recently learned of the research you mention here. I also interviewed an expert for my podcast who said that cell phones may eventually be responsible for more cancer than cigarettes. There are products available to minimize the radiation that comes from the phone.

  3. I think-here again are certain individuals infringing on the rights of others with their opinion and they claim it scientific when actually there has not been enough to research that this will cause cancer in later years-did they study children until middle-age/old-age? This is a benefit for some parents; especially single working mothers & because of parental-controls, kids can’t use them enough to have such a deadly affect. There are worse things for them to concentrate on like molesters, the ozone layer, hormones and chemicals in the foods they eat.

  4. gl. Is that shorthand for Government Lobbyist? Are you a cell phone industry lobbyist, because you sure sound like one? One who is either being criminally deceptive and fraudulent, and/or one who is dangerously ignorant of the facts. The French are absolutely right to be concerned about EMF in mobile phones (and would do well to study their effect in electric and hybrid vehicles, WiFi devices, TVs, microwave ovens, etc) especially in regard to young children. The one area in which scientists, politicians and researchers agree is the negative effects of cell phone and other EMF radiation on young brains. There is a huge amount of research out there at this point and the inescapable conclusion is that EMFs penetrate children’s bodies (skulls and brains in particular) more deeply than those of adults, and that such radiation is a known human carcinogen. People who would believe a corporation like AT&T over science and research are doomed to a life of ill health for themselves, and worse for their children.


    Remember that if something hasn’t been proven harmful, that doesn’t mean that it has been proven safe. With many new technologies, it’s wise to wait for enough time to pass to allow for reliable, reviewed, repeatable research that determines that technology’s safety and usefulness.



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