Radiation exposure in children and young people is associated with a small but important increased cancer risk.

A new website with information and resources for referrers, medical imaging providers, patients and parents has been launched to support referral and provision of CT for children and young people, with the aim of reducing unwarranted radiation exposure.

Radiation exposure in children

Each year over 80,000 CT scans are performed on children and young people in Australia.1 CT scans are an important tool, providing non-invasive imaging that can be essential in the diagnosis of many conditions and disorders. However, local and international research has confirmed that, in this population, radiation exposure from CT scans is associated with a small but important increased cancer risk.2-4

Ensuring that the benefit of a scan will outweigh associated radiation risks (and potential risk of malignancy) is an important consideration for referrers, medical imaging providers, parents and carers.

To help reduce the risk of unwarranted radiation exposure while supporting the use of CT scans when clinically necessary, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) has partnered with other key health organisations to create a collection of resources that address the needs and concerns of all people who may be involved in the CT patient journey.

These resources include:

Access to these and other resources, including videos and interactive tablet games, is freely available through a dedicated web page hosted by Healthdirect Australia.