October 10, 2012

National Effort Raises Awareness of Child Safety for X-Ray, CT Scans

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging healthcare professionals to “Image Gently” when conducting x-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans on children.

IEMA recently sent a letter to nearly 16,000 medical radiation technologists, x-ray facilities and others highlighting the latest addition to the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging’s nationwide Image Gently campaign: Back to Basics (Beam, Artifacts, Shielding, Immobilizations and Indicators, Collimation and Structures).

Back to Basics offers informational resources for the medical community regarding radiation protection for children during radiography procedures. A parent brochure, “What Parents Should Know About Radiation Protection in Medical Imaging,” helps parents understand radiation risks and benefits before their child undergoes a procedure.

“While x-rays and CT scans are essential tools for diagnosis, when it comes to children, one size does not fit all,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “In addition to ensuring the medical community is aware of new information available through Image Gently, we also want to raise awareness among parents so they can better understand the risks and benefits of these procedures.”

More than 17,500 medical professionals nationwide have taken the Image Gently pledge to ‘child size’ the radiation dose used in children’s imaging. IEMA encourages Illinois healthcare professionals to join in taking the pledge.
IEMA has long supported the Image Gently campaign. In 2009, the agency sent a letter to health professionals to increase awareness about the nationwide campaign and posted information for the medical community and parents on its website (www.iema.illinois.gov). IEMA’s Bureau of Radiation Safety registers and inspects 34,000 radiation-producing machines and accredits more than 14,000 radiation technologists in the state.

For more information about the Image Gently Campaign, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.