Dr. Greene’s Answer:
Radiation can certainly be harmful to adults as well. Unnecessary CT scans should be reduced at all ages, but this is especially important for children because children are far more sensitive to the risks of radiation than are adults. A young baby may be 10 times more sensitive than a middle-aged adult to the same dose.
And even when kids and adults are exposed to the same strength CT beams, kids get significantly higher doses because their thinner bodies allow the beam to penetrate them with higher intensity.
Also, children who are scanned usually have many more years of their lives ahead of them, giving them longer to develop any cancer a scan might cause.
Read More From This Series:
CT Scan Defined
CT Scan, Ultrasound or MRI?
CT Scan Safety
CT Scans and Radiation
Exposure CT Scan Risks
Higher Risks in Children
Who Should Receive a CT Scan?
X-Ray or a CT Scan?
Alternatives to a CT Scan
When Should a CT Scan be Performed?
Important Tip to Reduce to Radiation
Questions to Ask before Every CT Scan
Other Radiation Exposures
Measures That Radiologists Should Adhere to When Administering a CT Scan
CT Scans and Cancer
When are MRIs not Practical?
What is Ionizing Radiation?
Who are Radiologists?
Last reviewed: February 14, 2008