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Where do I Take my Child for an X-ray?

According to a new study in the Journal of Neurosurgery, children who undergo imaging at a dedicated children’s hospital are exposed to significantly less radiation. If your child is seen at a facility that primarily treats adults, the equipment is often not adjusted for children and may provide too much radiation. This is particularly true for CT scans, which provide much more radiation than plain x-rays, to begin with.

The study’s results were dramatic: patients at the children’s hospital received an astonishing 86 percent less radiation. The good news is that the lower radiation dose does not affect the quality of the pictures.

The bottom line: if possible, take your child to a dedicated pediatric facility if radiologic testing (especially a CT scan) needs to be done. If that is not possible, don’t be afraid to ask the adult facility if they have updated their equipment to a lower radiation dose that is safe for children.

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