A Parent’s Guide to Diagnostic Imaging for Their Children

Diagnostic imaging may be prescribed for your child in an effort to identify any underlying issues associated with specific symptoms that are being exhibited. While there are various types of imaging that can be chosen, X-rays and ultrasounds are rather common because they are not invasive. Children of all ages can undergo either one of these tests, which can examine many different body parts, including the abdomen, bladder, pelvis, chest, and many others.

Many parents might be concerned about the potential effects of X-rays, ultrasounds, and other medical imaging in NJ, so let’s discuss some of the basics of these tests to put your worries at ease.

For starters, X-rays involve using radiation to look at the internal structures in the body. Your child will be exposed to radiation; however, it is meticulously measured against the normal background radiation. On the other hand, ultrasounds make use of sound waves to create images of internal structures of the body without the use of radiation.

Background Radiation

Everyone is exposed to background radiation every day, no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Background radiation includes things like soil, building materials, rocks, water, and even radiation that come from the sun. As far as diagnostic imaging is concerned, background radiation is compared to this normal every-day environmental radiation that we are exposed to all the time.

When conducting an X-ray exam, the amount of radiation for children is equivalent to anywhere between 6 months and 3 years, depending on the body part being scanned and if repeated scans are necessary. For the most part, the development of complications as a result of this radiation is very low.

Minimizing Radiation Risks

A critical component to minimizing the risk associated with radiation exposure while undergoing an X-ray comes from pre-planning and thorough exams. Diagnostic imaging is only recommended if there is a clear medical advantage to your child, and only the safest imaging techniques are ever used on your child. Other alternative techniques may also be used if possible, such as ultrasounds, which do not use any ionizing radiation.

It should be noted that any potential risks – which are minimal – outweigh the benefits of clear diagnostic imaging to find out what the underlying cause of exhibited symptoms may be so that the appropriate course of action is taken. At the end of the day, it’s your child’s health and safety that is of main concern.