Does Your Child Need an X-ray? Here’s What You Should Know!
- Posted on: Aug 15 2017
X-rays are performed across the country on a daily basis. This method of imaging allows physicians to gain valuable information about organs and bones in the body. Because x-rays are identified as a source of radiation, parents may feel unsettled about the impending screening their child faces. Here, we would like to discuss what X-rays are, how they work, and how safety is promoted for children of all ages.
X-rays and Radiation
Before focusing on the radiation aspect of x-rays, we first want to answer the primary question parents may have: will the X-ray hurt? No. Most children can tolerate sitting still for the few moments it takes to capture the necessary images. We take special care to make children comfortable, both physically and emotionally, before commencing with the brief process.
Now, radiation, the first detail that may provide peace of mind is that the beam of radiation that is directed toward the body passes through quickly. That means no radiation lingers in the body after each image, nor after the completion of a series of images.
Sometimes, an apron comprised of lead is applied over the body to inhibit radiation exposure where it is not necessary. Think of a visit to the dentist, in which a heavy apron is worn during dental x-rays. During X-ray appointments for children, a parent who remains in the room will also wear an apron as a precaution against radiation exposure.
Safety is a primary concern during X-ray procedures. Some of the ways that experienced X-ray technologist reduce exposure to radiation include:
- Minimizing images to what is necessary. Every situation is different, but it is normally possible to accurately assess the need for multiple images before the screening. For instance, a fracture may be confirmed without a dozen different views of the same bone. For children, special techniques to facilitate stillness may be used, such as sedation or distraction. The more still a child can be during X-rays, the fewer “takes” will be needed.
- Carefully selecting the imaging test. Imaging is selected based on the data a physician wishes to obtain. In some cases, ultrasound or MRI may be more appropriate than X-rays. Our technologists have the extensive training that enables them to determine optimal screenings for each situation.
- Focusing on a specific body part. Images of the affected body part are localized to the smallest possible area. For example, a finger fracture does not require a full-arm X-ray.
We are proud to serve families and physicians in the Humble and Houston areas. Contact an office near you for more information on our X-ray protocol.
Posted in: X-Ray