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Children and Radiation Safety

As part of your child’s medical care at CHOC Children’s Hospital, he or she might need to undergo an imaging study or scan to diagnose the presence or absence of disease. Some of these imaging tests use radiation such as X-rays, nuclear medicine studies or CT scans. You may be concerned about the potential risks from radiation exposure in imaging tests.

CHOC takes radiation exposure from diagnostic imaging very seriously, and we go to great lengths to ensure that tests performed on your child use the lowest possible radiation exposure to patients and families.

While studies suggest that there is a very small risk over one’s lifetime associated with large exposures to radiation, no study has shown a measurable risk from the small amounts used in a single diagnostic imaging examination. If done using pediatric safety guidelines, the benefit to your child will greatly outweigh the risk of being exposed to a small amount of radiation.

Leapfrog hospital 2015

Dose Matters – Radiation Safety for Kids

Years of experience and research have shown that it is not necessary to use adult-sized doses of radiation to obtain high-quality images in children. That’s why we calibrate all of our pediatric imaging equipment for kids and use protocols that minimize your child’s exposure.

CHOC Children’s is the only imaging facility in Orange County just for children, and we use up to 50 percent less radiation than adult imaging facilities. We are dedicated to using the lowest levels of radiation necessary without compromising image quality to make a correct diagnosis, and we routinely meet or exceed national radiation safety recommendations.

Our Commitment to Safe Imaging

CHOC Is Accredited by the American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology (ACR) awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of its practice. Image quality and procedure evaluations are conducted by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. The program also evaluates personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs.

When you choose an ACR-accredited facility, you know that:




Image Gently®

CHOC Children’s is a proud supporter of the Image Gently® campaign. The campaign was launched in 2008 to raise awareness about methods to reduce radiation dose during pediatric medical imaging exams. The Image Gently group provides information about safe pediatric imaging examinations for radiologic technologists, medical physicists, radiologists, pediatricians and parents.

The campaign is an initiative of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, a coalition founded by the Society for Pediatric Radiology, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the American College of Radiology and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine