Radiation Exposure from X-Rays and CT Scans On the Rise for Youths

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Think back: How many X-rays have you had so far? Not counting dental ones, a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds you'll probably have more than seven radiation scans before you turn 18.

Forty-two percent of kids were found to have had at least one radiation procedure so far. Most of the exposed radiation comes from X-rays -- which use little radiation -- and the chest, hands, and feet are the most common body parts to be scanned.
However, the frequency of youth undergoing CT scans is causing greater alarm because the procedure requires much more radiation, thereby raising the risk for cancer. CT scans give doctors a super detailed image, and eight percent of minors in the study had at least one.

"We want to be as cautious as we can and protect children as much as possible," explains Dr. Marilyn Goske, chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging.

Have you had a CT scan or X-ray? For what?

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