30/03/2011 09:19 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Children Under 12 Shouldn't Be Given Mobile Phones, Says Expert

A Government adviser has warned that children under 12 should not use mobile phones.

Professor Lawrie Challis told the Daily Mail that even teenagers should use their phones to send text messages rather than talk.

Prof Challis, the former head of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, is a physicist and an expert on the effects of radiation.

He told the Mail it was possible that children are more sensitive than adults to radiation given out by mobiles.

"I think it is plausible because their immune system is still developing and we do know that children are more sensitive to other things, for example ultra-violet light," he said.

"If a child is exposed to excessive sunlight, they are more likely to get skin cancer than an adult exposed to the same amount.

"They are more sensitive to pollutants. There is a thinking that they might be at increased risk."

Prof Challis is still a member of the MTHR, which has just launched a 30-year study looking at the mobile phone use and health of 250,000 people across Europe.

The study will compare calls made with health records to see if there is any link with cancer or neurological diseases, or less serious conditions such as headaches and disturbed sleep.

It's the first study to look at such a long period of time and such a wide range of diseases.

More than half of children under the age of 10 now own a mobile phone.

However, John Cooke, executive director of the Mobile Operators Association, which represents the industry, told the Mail: "The advice from the World Health Organisation is that there is no need for any special precautions for the use of mobile phones for adults or children.

"If parents are concerned, they can encourage their children to keep calls short, or use hands-free devices.

"Parents need to weigh up the tangible security benefits provided by this technology against the possibility of future unknown health effects."

What do you think? Should kids be allowed mobile phones?

Source: Daily Mail