Children’s radiation safety is being overlooked and must be addressed, according to doctors Alan Schroeder, of Stanford and James Duncan of Washington University in St. Louis.

child undergoing CT scan

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The pediatricians published a Viewpoint article in JAMA Pediatrics urging for increased attention to the amount of ionizing radiation children receive. Information campaigns such as Image Gently have been documented to successfully bring radiation safety to the forefront at children’s hopsitals. However, a lot of imaging is provided outside of the hospital setting, allowing for too much variability, the authors argued. Additionally, individual hospitals can remain anonymous with no accountability for excessive imaging.

To combat this issue, Schroeder and Duncan proposed developing CT imaging metrics that can be easily measured and disseminated. With standard benchmarks established, hospitals and imaging centers can have their accreditation contingent on their performance against these metrics. Their ultimate goal is “to ensure that children get the imaging they do need while avoiding the imaging they do not.”


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