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Pediatric Considerations Before, During, and After Radiological/Nuclear Emergencies

, by DCEG Staff

A new report, “Pediatric Considerations Before, During, and After Radiological/Nuclear Emergencies,” published in the November 2018 issue of Pediatrics, summarizes appropriate management of the pediatric population in the event of a radiologic disaster. The material was developed by an expert panel convened by the Council on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and supports the revised AAP recommendations first issued in 2003. Clinicians and public health advocates alike can benefit from this latest review of the science; the detailed guidance can be applied in the clinic and when prioritizing health policy.

The authors review the evidence-base for measures to reduce radiation exposure in the immediate aftermath of a radiological or nuclear disaster, including diagnosis and management of external and internal contamination, use of potassium iodide, and actions in relation to breastfeeding. They describe public health and clinical implications and emphasize the importance of awareness and management of acute radiation syndrome, acute and long-term psychologic effects, as well as cancer risks and other late tissue reactions following low-to-high levels of radiation exposure.

These latest recommendations are based on a thorough review of highly-respected studies of exposed populations, including the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, individuals exposed through nuclear plant accidents or improper disposal of radiotherapy equipment, and residence in proximity to nuclear plants.

Read Dr. Linet’s news item on the AAP website.


Linet MS et al. Pediatric Considerations Before, During, and After Radiological or Nuclear Emergencies. Pediatrics. November 26, 2018. [Epub ahead of print] DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-3001.

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