Radiationexposure and children
Radiationexposure and children
Thisessay covers a topic on radiation exposure and children. It focuseson enlightening the leader and the society on the various issuessurrounding radioactive emissions and their effects on children inparticular, and some of the precautionary measures parents andguardians can take to protect their children from these radiations.
Radiationis any form of emitted energy conveyed in the shape of moving minuteparticles or electromagnetic waves. Depending on their strength andfrequency, radiations can either be ionizing or non-ionizing. Theonly difference between these two radiations is that ionizingradiations are stronger than non-ionizing radiations and thereforemore harmful to children. Anyone can be affected by these radioactiveemissions. However, because of the physiological and anatomicaldifferences between children and adults, children are more vulnerablewhen exposed to them. Given that both children and adults are exposedto an equal amount of radiations, the probability that a higherdamage of internal organs will occur to children is very high becausetheir skin is still developing and cannot withstand these radiations,and therefore, they penetrate easily. On a similar line, their bodytissues and cells are too delicate and yet to develop a robust immunesystem Sadetzki, (2005).
Humanskin contains melanin which absorbs these excess rays and protectsbody cells from them. With white children, melanin is not as much asin African children and it therefore, means that white children aremore prone to radiations, and it becomes even more necessary toprotect them from direct sun rays. The degree of damage thatemissions can cause to children’s body depends on three factors:The dose of radiations absorbed by the body, the type of radiationexposed to, the route of exposure to radiations and the length oftime one is exposed to the radioactive rays(Holmes-Siedle & Adams, 1993).
Mostpeople think that children get exposed to dangerous emissions throughexternal exposure only. However, they should become aware of internalexposure to emissions and try to protect their children as much aspossible. External exposure to radiations can be through the wholebody, partial body or localized exposure while internal exposure canbe through inhalation of air or water vapour, ingestion ofcontaminated foods, skin wounds and maternal contamination amongothers. This does not imply that radiations are not important tochildren at all. They are treasured when it comes to treatment ofillness. A physician can use them to make accurate diagnoses of achild illness. Let’s say that radiation is a necessary evil.
Overexposureof children to sun rays can cause sunburns. The immediate symptom ofsunburns is a change in normal skin colour to red and irritation.Severe sunburns can cause sunburn blisters. Ultra Violet rays areknown for premature aging of skin to children, altering DNA which caneventually lead to skin cancer. Some of the ways to protect ourchildren from sunburns is to ensure that they put on the sunprotective clothing while outside such as long-sleeved shirts andpants. Ultraviolet blocking sunglasses are also advisable or stick toshady places when the sun gets hot.
Withthe growing technology, children are more exposed to electronicdevices such as phones, laptops, tablets among others. These devicesemit electromagnetic radiations which can cause health disorders ifleft uncontrolled. This is true for most children whose brains arestill developing and fragile. In a research conducted by Forbes(2015), she argues that WIFI exposure can jeopardize a child’s lifemore than thought. This is because children absorb theseelectromagnetic radiations faster than adults. This problem isincreasingly growing due to the up come of digital era where everychild has an electronic gadget. Cell phones, for instance, emitradiations which are carcinogenic and can cause brain cancer.
Mostparents are to blame when it comes to exposure of children toradioactive emissions. This is because they demand too many testingfor their children when they are ill even when it’s not necessary.Most people believe that medication without any test is not the rightmedication. We put a lot of pressure on doctors demanding forscanning even over minor conditions that can be treated right away.The CT scan for instance, which spin around the child to take imagesof various internal parts of the body results in whole body exposureto radioactive rays. The more a child is exposed to these CT scansthe more, they are exposed to radioactive rays which are cancerous.In fact, children need no scanning at all. We only need to keep themin a safe environment free from contamination.
Braincells of young children develop very first at their early stages oflife making them highly sensitive to radiations. According to aresearch conducted by WHO (2007), children who had in one way exposedto radioactive emissions in their early life are at a greater risk ofdeveloping cancer in their late years. X- Rays, for instance, arevery useful for the destruction of cancerous cells but at the sametime can alter the genetic makeup of healthy cells leading to thedevelopment of secondary cancer many years after exposure toradiations.
Inany case, parents and guardians should be very careful to protecttheir children from any exposure to radiations. They should quitdemanding for unnecessary scans to their children anytime theydevelop some complications. However, some do it out of ignorance andnaivety and therefore the government should focus on educating thenation on the implications of exposure to radiations to enable peopleto make informed decisions on behalf of their children.
Forbes,E. (2015). WIFIexposure to children. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press
Holmes-Siedle,A. & Adams, L. (1993). Handbookof radiation effects.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sadetzki,S. (2005). Long-termfollow-up for brain tumor development after childhood exposure toionizing radiation for tinea capitis.NewYork: McGraw-Hill
W.H.O.,(2007). Children`sHealth and the Environment. Geneva:W.H.O