Docs question new needle guidelines

October 3, 2008 2:18:00 PM PDT
Some pediatricians are questioning new federal guidelines on the length of needles used to vaccinate children, saying they could put some children in danger of injury. Those new guidelines call for shorter needles to be used. But scientists reporting in the journal Pediatrics say the recommendations don't' take into account the bodies of all children. They say the problem is, that if the thickness of the needle becomes too small, the needle doesn't penetrate the skin as well and tends to bend which could cause the needle to break.

Authors recommend the guidelines be changed to support the use of shorter needles in many cases, depending on the gender and weight of the child.