Know the risks of CT scans for children

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 12:01 PM

CT scans can save lives, but they also come with big risks to your children. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, also known as "Seattle Mama Doc," joined KING 5 Morning News to arm parents with important information about these risks.

Some facts about CT scans and children:

  • CT scans for kids have been declining in the US since 2007
  • There are 4 million CT scans performed on children annually
  • The dose of radiation from CT scans varies between hospitals
  • One-third of CT scans may be unnecessary
  • A JAMA Pediatrics study found that CT scans could potentially cause over 4,000 cases of future cancer
  • Cancer risk increases because the body develops over time
  • Only half of parents surveyed in a Journal of Pediatrics study knew about the cancer risk of CT scans, and 90 percent wanted CT scans before knowing the risks

What parents should know before agreeing to CT scans for their child:

  • All X-rays give off radiation but repeated CT scans increase the dose
  • It's always OK to ask why your child needs a CT scan
  • Ask if alternative tests exist
  • Inquire if the hospital uses the Image Gently protocols

Other resources:

 

 

More about Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson: Facebook | Twitter: @ | Read Her Blog

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