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Radiologists Can Make CT Scans Even Safer for Children

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According to one expert, this article may help parents communicate with radiology technicians to make sure that children who need a CT scan get the lowest possible radiation dose.

"The guidelines [in the article] are reasonable guidelines to follow," says Robert Lavey, MD, head of the radiation oncology program at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Calif., who spoke with WebMD about the research. "Radiologists can use the guidelines as a starting point and make adjustments as they find necessary for their scanners. ... The [parent] bringing his or her child for a scan can ask the technician whether the tube current and pitch have been adjusted for the child's size prior to obtaining the scan. In this way, a scan can be performed, and yet parents can do their best to protect their child."

"Although we want to lower the CT-associated radiation dose, parents should not be worried if their children need to have CTs," Donnelly tells WebMD. "This is a helpful medical tool, and often it's the best tool to get the information we need to care for children."

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