Monday, January 30, 2006
MOBILE PHONES MARKETED AT CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS FOUR CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER FACES CALLS TO BAN ‘TEDDY PHONE' ADS
MOBILE ‘phones shaped liked teddy bears are being marketed at children as young as four - despite Government warnings that they pose a health risk to children.
Only last year the Government's Health Protection Agency chairman Sir William Stewart advised parents to discourage mobile ‘phone use in children under eight as a precaution against potential health risks.
Now Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has called on the Children's Commissioner to ban ads for the products until their safety can be guaranteed.
Dr Lucas, who is Green Party MEP for South-East England and co-president of the European Parliament's cross-party Consumer Affairs group, said children were especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation from mobile ‘phone use and asked the Children's Commissioner Professor Al Aynsley-Green to intervene to restrict children's access to mobile ‘phones.
She said: "Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation from mobile ‘phone use, and it beggars belief that companies have been allowed to develop products whose safety is in doubt and market them directly at children.
"We must act cautiously until their safety is proven or otherwise. The Children's Commissioner must act to halt young children's exposure to mobile ‘phones - by immediately stopping manufacturers from marketing them at young children and exploring what powers exist to ban ‘phones aimed at those aged under eight completely."