The Food and Drug Administration has just announced plans to ensure children aren’t exposed to harmful levels of radiation during CT scans and x-rays. They’ve asked the manufacturers of such medical devices to design new models that make safety a priority, especially in limiting the amount of radiation a child receives. Additionally, the FDA is seeking to make those who employ older technology place warning signs on the machines if they may possibly emit unsafe doses of radiation.
In filing their report, US News noted, “However, the exposure to ionizing radiation can, over time, raise the risk of cancer, and high doses of radiation may be problematic in children.
“Imaging is very important. It saves lives,” said Dr. Marta Hernanz-Schulman, chair of the American College of Radiology Pediatric Imaging Commission and a professor of radiology and pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. “Like any tool, it needs to be used judicially; like any other tool, it’s not a panacea.”
“Children are not little adults,” Hernanz-Schulman added. “Their bodies are more sensitive to radiation, because they are growing, so when the cells are dividing they are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.”
In addition, children actually absorb more radiation when they are given adult doses, she added.
“Most of the effects of radiation are felt decades down the line,” Hernanz-Schulman said.
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