Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The government is taking steps to help ensure that children who need CT scans and other X-ray-based tests don't get an adult-sized dose of radiation.
Too much radiation from medical testing is a growing concern because it may increase the risk of cancer later in life. Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults, and exposure adds up with repeated scans over the years.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing guidelines urging manufacturers to design new scanners to be safer for the youngest, smallest patients. Also, the FDA is providing new guidance to parents on its website. It advises parents to ask why the test is needed and whether there are radiation-free alternatives or ways to minimize the child's exposure.