Digital baby monitors are safe

Baby monitor guide: how dangerous is the radiation?

A baby monitor is now part of the standard equipment in baby rooms. Hardly any parents want to do without this useful little helper. But what about the much discussed radiation? Our guide summarizes what it is all about and gives tips.

The baby monitor gives parents security

It is best to keep an eye on the baby to make sure that it is okay - that is the wish of all parents. But of course that is not possible. In the phases in which the baby is sleeping, the parents also have to get some sleep, for example, or household chores and other tasks are called out. A baby monitor then ensures that the parents are immediately informed if the baby is missing something. The transmitter in the children's room transmits a signal to the receiver when the smallest noise or - depending on the model - movement occurs, which the parents always have with them. You will then know immediately when your baby needs parental attention.

However, like the cell phone, the baby monitor has been criticized again and again: How high is the radiation exposure caused by baby monitors? While the experts from Stiftung Warentest gave the all-clear in January 2020, testers from Öko-Test in 2014 warned the highRadiation exposure through the devices.

How high is the radiation exposure from baby monitors?

"Pathetic: In our opinion, half of the test devices do not belong in the vicinity of babies. That twelve devices still transmit with pulsed electromagnetic radiation and six of them alsoIn the long run, one can only consider the manufacturer's ignorance of the recommendations of countless experts and the interests of the parents for the greatest possibledenote protection for their children. It doesn't help that almost all models convince in the tests acoustics, technology and equipment. "

This is the devastating verdict in the last baby monitor test by Öko-Test 2014, in which the experts tested 16 baby monitors. The criticism is directed against the intensity of the high-frequency microwaves ("pulsed radiation") that the baby monitors generate. This radiation is suspected carcinogenic to be as it can alter brain waves.

Electromagnetic radiation is always generated when electronic devices are operated, such as cell phones or smartphones. To protect babies, baby monitors only a quarter of the radiation from a cell phone be allowed to achieve. In the test, however, some of the devices showed radiation intensities that were equivalent to that of a cell phone tower.

In the past few years, the products seem to have been significantly improved. In the baby monitor test by Stiftung Warentest in January 2020, it is said that parents do not have to worry about electrosmog with either analog or digital babphones. Because all the devices tested there fell well below the limit values ​​for the electrical field strength.

Wireless technology for baby monitors: analog vs. digital

Basically, analog baby monitors are usually less radiation-intensive than digital devices. But what do analog and digital mean and what should you pay attention to when buying a baby monitor? The trend is currently clearly in the direction of digital radio technology, although this is mostly more radiation intensive is than the analog technology. This is because of the advanced features that digital baby monitors offer. In contrast to analog devices, the transmission of digital devices is encrypted, i.e. it is bug-proof and largely interference-free. With up to over 100 channels, digital technology ensures that the best is always sent automatically. Therefore, the sound quality is usually better than with analog devices, which offer a maximum of eight manually selectable channels.

So digital technology offers some advantages and cannot be demonized per se - there are now one or the other digital baby monitor that transmits with unpulsed radio waves, such as the 2014 Öko-Test test winner: the Angelcare baby monitor AC423-D, available from Baby Walz for € 90.99 *.

If you opt for a digital baby monitor due to the better transmission quality, make sure that it has an ECO mode. This increases the threshold above which noises are transmitted, reduces the maximum range and thereby lowers radiation and power consumption.

5 tips to keep the radiation low on baby monitors

There is no such thing as a baby monitor completely without electronic radiation. Analog devices are usually less radiation-intensive, but they also produce electrosmog, which must be kept to a minimum for the benefit of children. These tips will help:

  1. Keep distance: Always set up the baby monitor at a minimum distance of one meter from the cot.
  2. Range only as high as necessary: Use the ECO mode or the range setting of the baby monitor. By minimizing the range, you reduce the radiation.
  3. Rely on rechargeable batteries and batteries: Baby monitors, the transmitter unit of which can be operated with rechargeable batteries and batteries, emit less radiation than devices that have to be connected to the electricity, as they do not produce alternating electrical fields.
  4. Switch off when not required: If the baby monitor is not in use, always switch it off completely.

Baby monitor test: These are the test winners of the past few years

Stiftung Warentest test winner in the baby monitor test 2020:

In the Stiftung Warentest test from January 2020, 20 products were tested: only 5 of them were rated 'good'. Above all, the classics were convincing, above all the simple devices with only sound. The picture quality of the video devices is often not very high, especially in dark rooms. There are also differences in the battery life: the video baby monitors in the test only ran between 8 and 18 hours, pure audio devices last up to 64 hours.

Smart baby monitors promise unlimited range, since they communicate via the Internet, they have been shown to be more complex and unreliable. The devices in the test did not give a noticeable enough warning if the connection between child and parents was broken. The examined apps are very cheap with a maximum of 5 €. Their big drawback is the poor video quality in dark rooms. The smartphones lack infrared light for this.

For the models with audio transmission only, three manufacturers share the winners' podium. The Philips Avent SCD723 / 26, available from Otto for € 127 *, lands in first place with a grade of 1.9. Babymoov Expert Care (A014303), available from babymarkt for € 60 *, came in second with a grade of 2.4. 3rd place goes to Reer Projector Baby Monitor (50080), available from Amazon for € 87 *.

Those who prefer a model with video transmission are well advised with these two products: Philips Avent SCD845 / 26, available from babywalz for € 204 * with the grade 2.1 and Nuk Eco Control Video Display 550VD with the grade 2.5, available from Amazon for € 142.50 *.

Stiftung Warentest test winner in the baby monitor test 2018:

In January, Stiftung Warentest tested 17 baby monitors: 12 classic wireless baby monitors with and without video transmission and five baby webcams. Only two devices were rated "good" by the testers, all other devices performed worse. The experts were able to give the all-clear, at least in terms of electrosmog: none of the devices tested exceeded the limit values.
The test winner in each of the three categories was a device from Philips Avent. These are the test winners:

Stiftung Warentest test winner in the baby monitor test 2015:

A total of 23 baby monitors, baby webcams and baby apps were tested. Back then, the test winner was a device from Philips Avent - the classic baby monitor Philips Avent SCD501 (good / grade: 2.3). The baby monitors also did well Lyra by Reer (good / grade: 2.5), available from Amazon for € 70 * and the video baby monitor Audioline Watch & Care V130 (good / grade: 2.5).

The baby monitor apps that showed themselves to be prone to failure in the test failed completely.

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