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What Parents Need to Know About Pediatric Imaging

A Parents Guide to Children's Diagnostic Imaging

Pediatric imaging at Canada Diagnostic Centres involves either an ultrasound or x-ray exam. Ages for pediatric imaging can range from 0-10+ years old, and areas examined can include abdomen, pelvis, bladder, chest, and many others. While these services can be critical to providing the proper care for a child’s health, it can be stressful for parent and child alike, so let’s start with some basics to help you rest assured.

X-ray exams involve the use of radiation to view internal structures in the body. This does expose your child to a dose of radiation, however this is measured against normal background radiation. Ultrasounds, on the other hand, use sound waves to create imagines of the body and use no radiation, making them very safe.

What is Background Radiation?

Each and every day, no matter where we go or where we live, we are exposed to background radiation. From the soil, rocks building materials, water, and especially cosmic radiation from our sun. When we perform diagnostic imaging, we compare it to this environmental radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis.

For an X-ray exam, the amount of radiation for a child is equal to between 6 months and 3 years, depending on the area scanned and if repeated scans are required. Mostly, the chance of developing implications from this are very low and extremely rare.

How Do We Minimize Radiation Risks?

The key to exposing children to the least amount of radiation possible comes from proper planning and thorough examinations. We only recommend diagnostic imaging if there’s a clear medical benefit to your child, and we use only the safest imaging techniques, as well as alternative methods if possible, like our ultrasounds, which use no ionizing radiation.

It’s important to remember that the potential risks, which are minimal, are outweighed by the benefits of having clear, diagnostic imaging performed. Your child’s health is our main concern.

Preparing for Pediatric Exams

As a parent, you can greatly assist in the process of your child’s diagnostic imaging by helping them before and after the exam. Our doctors will work closely with you to ensure both you and your child feel safe and comfortable during the exam.

You can find a full list of pre-examination information for ultrasounds on our Pediatrics page.

If you’d like to learn more about our Pediatric imaging services in Calgary, or to book an appointment today, contact us now at canadadiagnostics.ca!