How Safe is Bluetooth Technology for Your Baby?
As a responsible parent, you may have asked yourself, “How safe is Bluetooth for my baby?” For as long as there has been technology, toymakers have embraced its almost magical ability to make toys more engaging and more exciting for children. Even though Bluetooth has existed for nearly 25 years, scientists are still looking carefully at its effects, and the debate as to how much risk there is, if any, remains open.
Our phones, cars, entertainment systems and appliances all rely on continually more sophisticated technology to improve functionality and user experience. We’ve become accustomed to more and more technology in our lives, and it just makes sense to understand how it works and how it affects us.
Bluetooth is key to Lil’ Jammerz ability to broadcast music from your mobile device to the speaker inside the toy. We think it’s important to understand this technology and its safety, so we’ve put together this brief summary of how Bluetooth works and how it compares to similar technologies.
Behind the Technology: Just What Is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a technology that allows the wireless transmission of data (such as music files) over very short distances using the UHF band. Everyone, including our children, are surrounded by everyday things that use this kind of signal, like broadcast TV, GPS, and Wifi. We rarely give them a second thought.
How Does the Bluetooth Signal Compare to the Cellular Phone Signal?
In assessing any risk associated with Bluetooth, we need to understand signal strength and duration, and compare Bluetooth usage with other technology we are exposed to every day.
The energy put out by Bluetooth, cellular and many other wireless signals is measured by what is called Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which measures the rate at which the signal is absorbed by the human body. Technologies with higher SAR are more risky to human health than those with lower SAR.
The SAR for Lil’ Jammerz is at the lowest end of the range of signal strength typical in consumer devices. Since Bluetooth in general is intended to travel only very short distances, its signal carries only about 1 percent of the SAR that is emitted by a typical cell phone, for example. By this measure, using a wireless Bluetooth device like Lil’ Jammerz to play music for your baby is, relatively speaking, 100 times safer than using the direct output of just a cell phone by itself.
Though not without its critics, SAR is the current accepted standard for measuring the relative signal strength (and therefore impact) of consumer wireless devices. In order to sell your Bluetooth low energy product in the North American market, your equipment needs to comply with the regulatory requirements of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and IC (Industry Canada). Lil’ Jammerz was designed with your baby’s safety in mind, and the product has passed and complies with both these safety standards.
Duration & Proximity
Unlike a cell phone, which is always transmitting and receiving data when it is powered on (unless both cellular data and Wifi are turned off), Lil’ Jammerz only broadcasts over Bluetooth when it is powered on. This significantly limits the duration of the actual signal which greatly reduces the already minimal exposure.
Additionally, since Bluetooth technology isolates the smartphone by moving it away from the body, this further effectively reduces its SAR and potential risk.
The debate over the relative safety of wireless transmitting devices and their signals, and their impact on your child, is expected to continue, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a properly designed and used Bluetooth device will in no statistically significant way increase the level of radio emissions a baby is otherwise exposed to in today’s environment.