Children and young people have more sensitive thyroids. This is why they are the main focus of the protective measure to block the thyroid using iodine: ingesting non-radioactive stable iodine (potassium iodide tablets) to stop radioactive iodine accumulating in the thyroid gland.
It must be noted that:
- children need lots of thyroid hormones while growing;
A child starts to grow while in the mother's womb. From around the 12th week of pregnancy, the foetus starts to accumulate iodine in the thyroid gland. If a pregnant woman takes potassium iodide tablets, she also protects her child against the effects of absorbing radioactive iodine.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers may take the same number of tablets (2 tablets in accordance with current recommended dosage) as other adults and anyone over the age of 12.
In contrast with other adults over the age of 12, pregnant women should only take one dose of the tablets (depending on the radiological situation, a second dose may be recommended).
- a child's thyroid
- is much smaller than that of an adult,
- is more active than that of an adult and
- therefore stores more iodine than an adult's.
This is why it is most important that children take stable iodine to block the thyroid.