Wifi has become increasingly regarded as a necessary public utility. Most families find them to be as essential as water, electricity, and gas. Depending on the survey, between 70 and 80 percent of North American homes and hundreds of millions of home worldwide connect to the Internet wirelessly through a router.
Even if you don’t have your own Wi-Fi connection, if you live in an apartment, chances are that your neighbors do. It’s hard to escape the reality of the RF radiation emitted by Wi-Fi.
But a growing chorus of concerned experts are raising questions about the safety of Wi-Fi for every member of the family, especially for newborns. There is no more important consideration for keeping babies safe from Wi-Fi radiation than where to place their cribs.
Is a Wifi router near a baby crib safe? Generally, no, it’s not safe. You want to limit exposure to 3 mW/m2 to 6 mW/m2 or less and a router near a baby crib may emit higher levels than this.
You might be interested in: Is It Safe To Sleep Near A Wireless Router?
How Does Wi-Fi Work?
Wi-Fi stands for “wireless fidelity.” It’s the same thing as WLAN, which stands for “Wireless Local Area Network.
All wirelessly connected devices, including Wi-Fi, operate on the same principle: They send radio waves to each other.
But Wi-Fi is fundamentally different from car radios, walkie talkies, and even cell phones in one very important respect.
Wi-Fi operates on a vastly higher frequency.
WiFi router radiation in the U.S, whose frequency is lower, utilize different frequency bands or channels that fall in the range of 2.4 GHz range.
Given that easily travel through walls and can deliver WiFi through buildings of up to 70 meters. The 2.4 GHz range of the routers is limited when it comes to the amount of data that can be transmitted over them.
WiFi Routers utilizing frequencies of 5 GHz are increasingly popular as they significantly elevate download speeds.
However, they have more difficulty penetrating through walls.
Read about 5 GHz Wifi and if it’s dangerous in this article.
Just how energetic is the radio wave put out by your router?
Your pre-5 GHz router puts out radio waves in a frequency range of 2.412 to 2.472 gigahertz. Your microwave cooks food with radio waves at 2.450 gigahertz.
In technical terms, both your router and your microwave put out microwave radiation. Microwave radiation can cook tissues.
This kind of radiation is different from ionizing radiation.
It doesn’t leave radioactivity in your tissues. It cooks them.
Your router may heat your tissues, but it will never make you glow in the dark.
The bottom line is that unlimited exposure to Wi-Fi radiation is not healthy for you or your baby.
Recommended EMF Protection Products
- TriField EMF Meter Model TF2 (Amazon) – measures the 3 different types of EMF radiation, including RF radiation from routers and cell phones
- Wifi Router Guard Cover (Amazon) – blocks up to 90% of EMF radiation from router using a Faraday cage
- Smart Meter Guard Cover (Amazon) – blocks up to 98% of EMF radiation emitted from your smart meter
- EMF Protection Underwear for Men & Women – Lambs uses WaveStopper technology to block 99% of UV and Wireless Radiation.
- EMF Protection T-Shirts for Men & Women – Lambs independently lab tested material blocks 99% of UV and Wireless Radiation
What Effect Does Wi-Fi Have on Health?
There have been over 1,800 studies of the effects of exposure to Wi-Fi on human health.
These studies do not find that parents need to panic just because their babies have been exposed to radio frequency radiation from a Wi-Fi router for a few hours occasionally, say, when visiting grandparents, but they generally find that babies and radiation from Wi-Fi routers do not mix.
People from infancy through old age experience physiological changes when they are exposed to Wi-Fi.
Wifi uses radio waves to transmit information, and these radio waves fall under a category of electromagnetic radiation called radio frequency (RF) radiation.
All types of EMFs, including radio frequency (RF) radiation, have been shown to have harmful health effects, especially in large doses for long periods of time.
I’ve added an EMF Research category on then top banner of this site that lists a lot of the research I reference when I write these articles.
One of the most famous (or infamous) is the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer study that said (1):
This volume evaluates possible carcinogenic hazards from exposures to static and extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields. It is the first of two IARC Monographs volumes on various kinds of non-ionizing radiation. Extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures result from proximity to electric power transmission lines, household wiring, and electric appliances and are in addition to the exposure that results from the earth’s magnetic field. Overall, extremely low frequency magnetic fields were evaluated as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
(emphasis is mine)
The organization Physicians for Safe Technology (2) is a treasure trove of scientific research on EMF research.
They have a category on their page “Wi-Fi Radiation Effects” that reviews the latest studies on the harmful effects of Wifi.
I highly recommend their site (linked below in the references) for beginners on these topics or if you want to learn more.
Studies have shown connection between exposure to EMF radiation like Wifi and health issues such as:
- Increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier (3)
- Interruption of hormonal and metabolic regulation
- DNA damage
- Increased brain glucose metabolism
Long-term exposure to Wifi has also been shown to cause issues like: (4)
- Brain Fog
- Chest Pain
Is a Wi-Fi Router Near a Baby’s Crib Safe?
Is Wifi Harmful to Babies?
Scientists tell us that children absorb more radiation from Wi-Fi than adults, and babies absorb more radiation from Wi-Fi than older children. The effects of Wi-Fi radiation on babies are even more significant than they are on older humans.
As you might expect from something that interferes with the flows of calcium in the human body, Wi-Fi exposure disrupts the development of teeth. Wi-Fi also interferes with neurological development. Babies exposed to Wi-Fi have difficulties distinguishing new objects from familiar objects.
Wi-Fi exposure seems to predispose babies to grow into children with weight problems. Babies exposed to more Wi-Fi have more cases of childhood leukemia.
So why haven’t scientists put out clearer warnings about infant exposure to Wi-Fi?
The simple fact is that Wi-Fi exposure is hard to quantify so scientists don’t know exactly how much exposure is safe and how much exposure is dangerous (although we will have more about that a little later in this article).
Infants don’t spend all their time in the same place. Sometimes a baby may be placed or crawl right next to a router.
Sometimes babies have little exposure to Wi-Fi at all, although with the rollout of 5G, there will be more and more exposure. What are concerned parents to do?
Things to Do to Reduce Your Baby’s Exposure to Wi-Fi
Reducing your child’s exposure to Wi-Fi doesn’t mean that you have to unplug from the Internet entirely. There are several ways you can reduce your child’s exposure to radiation from routers that won’t turn your life upside down.
It may seem like ancient history, but it wasn’t long ago that all computers were connected to the Internet by Ethernet cables.
Your wireless router is connected to the Internet by cables now.
Rolling back your technology 15 years takes wireless radiation out of your home. And it doesn’t mean slower Internet just because speeds were slower when Ethernet was the main way of connecting to the Internet.
Getting your Internet connection by Ethernet cables is more reliable than using on a wireless router.
It’s even faster than a wireless router. You are tethered to your cable, but in many cases you can use your cell phone’s connection (at least if you have unlimited minutes) to fill in the gaps.
If you don’t have wireless Wi-Fi in your home, your baby’s exposure to this kind of radiation is zero.
Here’s an overview of how to go from wireless to cable:
The modem you are given by your Internet provider is usually also your router. (If your device has either a cable TV connection a telephone cable connection and also either an antenna or more than one Ethernet port, it’s almost certainly a combination modem and router.) First, decide how many devices you need to hardwire to the Internet. You will need an Ethernet switch with that many ports plus one, the switch box’s connection to your modem. Next you will need to run a lot of cables. That’s the hard part. Then finishing the job is easy. Just plug your Ethernet cables into your laptops, desktop, or other devices, turn off wireless, and you are good to go!
Have a two story house? Here’s an article on how to get wired internet upstairs.
Use a Wi-Fi router guard
If you want to minimize risk to your unborn, newborn, and the rest of your family, you can reduce Wi-Fi radiation with a Wi-Fi router guard.
A Wi-Fi router guard is a Faraday cage for your router. It’s a copper mesh box.
The copper blocks about 90 percent of radiofrequency radiation from your router while reducing your router’s range just 10 to 20 percent. (You need mesh, not solid copper, or you wouldn’t have any Internet signal.)
You may not be able to get a wireless connection to your router in your back yard or your basement, but you can greatly reduce radiation risk without disrupting your wireless lifestyle.
This may be the optimal solution if many of your appliances and security systems are connected to the Internet.
When you are buying a router guard, size matters. Choose a router guard that is big enough to hold your router.
Find out more in this article on Wifi Router Guards – what they are and how to choose one.
Turn off your router at night
Even better, turn off your Internet connection when you are not using it. Here are two ways of turning off your router on a regular basis.
- Connect your router to a mechanical wall timer. Just set the timer to cut off power to your router and turn it back on according to your schedule. Mechanical wall timers emit zero radiation.
- If you need to prevent your older children from simply removing the mechanical wall timer, you can log into your router software and set a timer with a password. Your children may not like this, but it reduces everyone’s exposure to radiation. This may be the best way to handle the problem during pregnancy. Just Google look up “how to set schedule on (your router name here)” and follow instructions.
Of course, if you go wired, you don’t have to worry about timers for wireless.
Get an EMF meter
Let’s suppose you get a router guard and you want to know how much good it is doing in your baby’s nursery. Or you want to find the very best location for your baby’s crib to minimize radiation exposure.
Measure radiation with an EMF meter.
You will need a model that measures RF radiation (not all of them do).
You generally want to have your baby in a part of your home where your EMF meter measures less than 6 volts/meter.
Don’t panic if your baby wanders into a higher-radiation part of your house occasionally.
Brief exposure to even 200 volts/meter.
The Sun generates this level of radiation during solar storms.
But try to avoid placing your infant’s crib anywhere there is more than 6 volts/meter of radiofrequency radiation.
Be aware that most EMF meters aren’t very good at measuring very high-frequency radiation, such as 5G.
Here’s the EMF meter I use at home. The TriField TF2 (available at Amazon) is easy to use and measures the 3 different types of EMF radiation, including RF radiation from Wifi routers.
What about wireless baby monitors?
Baby monitors also generate radiofrequency radiation. But you can mitigate the problem in at least two ways.
- Buy a low-EMF baby monitor
- Place your baby monitor in a copper mesh cage like your router guard.
Wifi Router in Child’s Bedroom
We now know you don’t want to put a Wifi router near a baby crib. How about as they get a little older? Is a Wifi router in a child’s bedroom safe?
Probably not but you should be measure to be sure of the amount of RF radiation emitted by your specific router.
Your child’s bed should try to stay far enough from the router that allows an exposure of 3 mW/m2 to 6 mW/m2 or less. This is easily measured with a high-quality EMF meter like the one I use above.
This 3 mW/m2 to 6 mW/m2 level is established in the 2012 BioInitiative report as “No Observable Effects” from RF EMF emissions and can generally be considered safe.
The 2012 BioInitiate report was written and edited by a group of M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and other scientists, this report is a great downloadable resource. Here’s the link to the report.
Conclusion – Wifi and Babies
No one can tell you with certainty that any level of radiation exposure is safe for your baby, but you can keep your infant’s radiation exposure very, very low.
Make your Internet connection as safe as you can while maintaining your connections.
Remember, an exposure of 3 mW/m2 to 6 mW/m2 or less is a good rule of thumb and this can be best measured with an EMF meter that reads RF radiation.
(1) World Health Organization – IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). Non-ionizing Radiation, Part 1: Static and Extremely Low-frequency (ELF) Electric and Magnetic Fields. You can download the PDF for free
(2) Physicians for Safe Technology. Their advisory board is made up of M.D.s and Ph.D.s and they state their mission as “We are a group of physicians and health professionals whose mission is to provide trusted leadership in promoting, healthy and safe environments through the safer use of technology at home, in schools, in the workplace, in healthcare settings and in communities.”
(3) Nittby H, Brun A, Eberhardt J, Malmgren L, Persson BR, Salford LG. Increased blood-brain barrier permeability in mammalian brain 7 days after exposure to the radiation from a GSM-900 mobile phone. Pathophysiology. 2009 Aug;16(2-3):103-12
(4) Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety – Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Continue reading: How Much Radiation a Laptop Emits (and what to do about it)