New Research Shows That Infants, Children, and Teens Are Especially At Risk after Radiation Accidents Due To Smaller Size
According to research released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published in Pediatrics on November 26, children, infants, and teens are more susceptible to radiation poisoning and more likely to develop serious medical issues as a result, including certain cancers and mental health issues. This most frequently happens as a result of being unexpectedly exposed to radiation from improper disposal of medical equipment and/or nuclear power plant accidents.
According to the statement released, children are not only exposed to this radiation via accidents, but also by consuming contaminated products, such as certain foods and milk. They tend to be more susceptible to these effects due to their developing bodies and overall smaller size; in comparison to adults. This is not only because they are smaller, but also because they breathe more air and consume more water and food per unit of body weight, therefore receiving a larger dose of a toxicant than an adult in similar circumstances.
How to Use This Research to Protect People
While it has long been known that there is a significant amount of harm associated with exposure to radiation—especially when it is due to nuclear power plant accidents nearby—researchers are hopeful that this new information will inspire more parents and pediatricians to be on the lookout for mental health problems in children, in particular, after these types of accidents.
The research also has implications in terms of prevention and solutions: Mothers who have been exposed to radiation should likely stop nursing temporarily, but mothers who are nursing, as well as infants and children, can also take potassium iodide to protect their thyroid in the aftermath of these accidents. In addition, in the event of an accident, anything exposed—including clothes and shoes—should be set aside in plastic bags, and people will need to thoroughly wash their bodies to remove contamination. Perhaps most importantly, children exposed to radiation like this should permanently limit their exposure to radiation in regular medical practices, such as X-rays or MRIs, because these needlessly increase cumulative radiation exposure.
Families should also take precautions to prepare for potential disasters before they happen by ensuring that they have the proper medical supplies at home and can take measures to avoid letting contaminated air into their homes after an accident.
If You Have Been Harmed Due To Radiation, Contact Our Florida Injury Attorneys
Florida has had its fair share of nuclear accidents, including those that occurred at Fort Pierce and Crystal River. If you or a loved one has been injured due to an accident like this, or due to cumulative radiation as a result of medical providers failing to limit overall exposure to radiation after exposure like this, contact our Florida personal injury attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to discuss your options.