You may have seen coverage recently on CNN Health about the increased number of CT, or computed tomography, scans being ordered by doctors for children.
The number of these scans has risen five-fold over a 14-year period, according to the research.
Radiation levels accumulate over time, so it’s important for parents to think about the risks and benefits of medical imaging. Our experts at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas offer these tips for safer CT scans for your children.
Most importantly, choose pediatric radiology services over adult ones if possible. Children’s has staff that specializes in pediatric radiology. They are specifically trained to limit radiation. Children’s also uses equipment that’s made and calibrated for kids.
- Talk to your pediatrician about the best way to diagnose your child’s condition. A CT scan is not always the best choice. Sometimes no imaging at all provides the best medical benefit.
- Ask your physician if it’s possible to use a technique that doesn’t cause radiation exposure, such as an MRI or ultrasound.
- Try to avoid having your child undergo repeat or duplicate imaging scans. This means keeping close tabs on your child’s medical record and the number of scans he or she has had.
We also have tips for X-rays to help parents ask the right questions about these procedures and more information on radiation exposure.