Answer to Question #7184 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues — Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

I was treated with iodine-131 for hyperthyroidism, and I've been isolated for three days since. I have a 2 1/2-year-old boy. I was wondering if it is safe yet for me to come out and start playing with him. The doctor told me to stay away from him for five days, but do I really need to wait that long?

I can understand your dilemma between following your doctor's recommendations and your desire to resume your life with your family. It is also difficult because your young son cannot understand why you need to maintain a distance from him.

I can only recommend that you follow the advice of your doctor. Children are more sensitive to radiation, so it is important to limit your time with and distance from your son, as discussed with your doctor. I think you will feel better afterwards that you followed your doctor's advice.

Marcia Hartman, MS

Answer posted on 24 January 2008. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.