Your Radiologist Explains Children and Radiation Safety
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Hello, I’m Dr. Cynthia Rigsby, a pediatric radiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I’d like to talk with you about radiation safety for children.
When your child’s pediatrician orders a C-T, x-ray, fluoroscopy or nuclear medicine exam, you may have legitimate concerns about the benefits and risks involved. These exams use small amounts of radiation to generate diagnostic information that allows your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis and determine the proper course of treatment.
It’s important to discuss any concerns with your child’s pediatrician and the radiologists. You may have questions such as, “Is this exam safe or medically necessary?” In other words, is this exam the best or only way to obtain the information needed to help make a diagnosis or guide treatment? If the answer is yes, then the benefit of the exam most certainly outweigh the risk.
Also, ask your doctor if the diagnostic information can be obtained with ultrasound or M-R-I, which do not use radiation. If your child has already undergone these or other tests, make every effort to provide those results to your doctor to avoid repeating exams.
Finally, ask if the facility and its equipment are accredited by the A-C-R, the American College of Radiology. When it comes to radiation exposure, one size does not fit all. Children’s exams should always be individually tailored to their smaller size. A-C-R accreditation ensures a high standard of image quality and proper monitoring of radiation exposure by a medical physicist.
To learn more about radiation safety for children, visit Radiology Info dot org.