CT Scans – Higher Risks in Children

CT Scans - Higher Risks in Children
Q:
CT Scans - Higher Risks in Children

Can it be harmful to adults as well? If yes, why the emphasis on children?

A:

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?

Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, Liat Simkhay Snyder
Last reviewed: February 14, 2008
Dr. Alan Greene

Article written by

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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