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Pediatric X-Ray, CT and MRI

familyandchildWhat is an X-ray?

X-rays are invisible bundles of energy that pass through the body to create a picture of your child’s bones and organs.  These exams are not painful but require your child to keep still for a few seconds.  Sometimes a piece of tape, sponge or bands of cloth will be used to help keep your child from moving.  As parents or guardians, you may be invited into the room while the x-rays are being taken to help keep your child comfortable and quiet. 

How much radiation is used in these exams?

We all are exposed to small amounts of radiation daily from the sun, soil, rocks, buildings, air and water.  People living in the mountains or flying in planes are exposed to higher amounts of radiation than those living near sea level.  This type of natural radiation is called background radiation.  The radiation used in x-rays has been compared to the amount of background radiation a person gets in one year. 

Radiation Source
Radiation Dose Estimate        
Estimate of Equivalent amount of background radiation
Natural Background Radiation
 3 mSv
 1 year
Airline Passenger (cross-country)
 0.04 mSv
 4 days
Chest X-ray (single)
 0.01 mSv
 1 day

How can we reduce radiation risk to my child?

There are ways to ensure that your child is exposed to the lowest amount of radiation possible during an x-ray or other imaging procedure.  Rochester General minimizes radiation exposure for children through its Image Gently and Image Wisely initiatives that adhere to the following safety guidelines:

  • Image with ionizing radiation only when there is a clear medical benefit
  • Use the lowest amount of radiation for adequate imaging based on the size of the child
  • Image only the indicated area
  • Avoid multiple scans
  • Use alternative diagnostic modalities when (Ultrasound, MRI) feasible