FDA draft guidance seeks to reduce kids' X-ray radiation exposure

Children face a higher cancer risk from the radiation in CT scans and X-rays, and the FDA is looking to limit undue exposure with new draft guidance released Wednesday. The agency is asking the industry to design future devices with kids in mind, including instructions and protocols for pediatric scans.

Pediatric hospitals often adjust their scanning procedures to ensure that children get lesser doses of radiation, but most pediatric scans take place at general hospitals where that might not be the case, CBS News notes. The FDA, in collaboration with the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, has developed new guidelines that aim to ensure kids get the right amount of radiation.

For devicemakers, the draft asks that they include pediatric-friendly settings on future machines, explaining how they can best be used to limit exposure. In the case of devices that aren't demonstrably safe for kids, the FDA wants the industry to label them accordingly. For providers, the agency plans to develop training materials that will outline the best practices for safely scanning children.

Scans are often essential for pediatric patients, the FDA noted, and the draft guidance is designed to make sure parents know their children are safe throughout the procedure. On July 16, the FDA will host a panel discussion on the draft, bringing in industry reps, healthcare providers and patient advocates.

- read the draft guidance
- check out the FDA's release
- get more from CBS News