X-rays, children

Dr. Bruce Parker, professor of radiology and pediatrics at the Stanford University Medical School, says that children should not be exposed to even a single x-ray unless the potential for benefit is clearly greater than the risk. He points out that children are more likely to develop cancer after x-ray exposure than are older people. We do not know how much radiation is required to induce cancer, but clearly the less exposure the better, he observes. (Pediatric News 20(12)3, December, 1986) Copyright 1986 Phylis Austin

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One Response to “X-rays, children”

  1. brparker Says:

    This statement is even more true now than when it was made in 1986. The markedly increased overutilization of CT scans in children puts them at increased risk for developing cancer in later life and may cause genetic damage we have not yet been able to quantitate. Parents should take the responsibility of questioning their physician when a CT scan is ordered. The question to ask is “Will the results of this scan make a difference in how my child is treated?” If there is no satisfactory answer, the utility of the scan is in doubt. It is also perfectly reasonable to discuss the pros and cons with the radiologist before submitting the child to the scan.

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