Think A-Head and Image Gently™
Think-A-Head on Children's CT Scans
If kids hurt their heads, help families make informed decisions:
- Know when an imaging test is (and is not) necessary
Explain why a head CT scan is (or is not) the right choice
Discuss the benefits as well as the risks of the scan
Child-size the CT radiation dose (where necessary)
Working Together to Take Care of Kids Who Hurt Their Heads
Head trauma occurs frequently in children. A CT (also called CAT) scan
may be necessary to diagnose your child’s condition. The results from the CT can be extremely helpful, including when they are normal.
CT uses x-rays, which are a type of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation at doses much, much higher than those used in brain CT scans has a small risk of causing cancer. The risk of cancer at the much lower radiation levels used in a child’s brain CT examinations is many times smaller than at much higher radiation doses; this risk may be so low that it is zero (no risk at all). Even if a very small risk does exist, this risk is very small compared to the large benefit to your child from the valuable information in their CT scan. This information allows your child’s doctor to select the treatment that will result in the best possible care of your child.
The Image Gently Alliance is committed to providing information on X-ray imaging examinations, on radiation dose levels of patient imaging procedures, on what we understand about potential risks, on appropriate use of imaging in children, and on the practice of good patient care.
The Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging is comprised of over nearly 100 imaging and health care organizations reaching over 1 million professionals committed to imaging excellence and safety. The organizations that led this Initiative are: