Radiology/couple of X-rays for a child?
QUESTION: Hallo, I was nine month pregnant when I took x-ray of the lungs but I was wearing protective shield covering my belly,after the x-ray I came to the US from Europe the 14 hour flight,than my baby was born and when he was 3 month we flied back to our home country. My baby was 9 month old when he took X-ray of the hips, and we came back to the US.Now my baby is five years old and he has already done 4 total XRAYS : 2 hip x-ray and 2 chest x-ray,and in every six month we had 14 hour flight . Recently I found information online that new findings prove there are risks for babies who are radiated a lot, and that 7 hour flight is equal to 1 chest x-ray, and that x-rays damage DNA cells and that there are links between radiation and leukemias later in life. I'm so worried, the baby was always healthy and is healthy, but they were doing x-rays like for no reason when you bring a child to the emergency room. The first thing they do is that they're doing x-rays want it or not,need it or not(from personal experience trust me he didn't need).They even tell you not to worry about it, instead of talking the dangers of it. So worried, I really need to ask a specialist what are the real risks, in the internet I find all kind of information some prove the risk is negligible some say that findings prove there are real risks for children, I don't know what to think, please answer ASAP. Thank you
ANSWER: Hello Maya,
I understand your concern. However, the small amount of radiation for xray of a child is concentrated on the area of interest and the whole body is not exposed. During chest X-rays the reproductive organs (which are sensitive to radiation are covered with a lead shield) The body repairs itself very quickly from these types of exposures. We are exposed to background radiation every day on earth and even on a long flight, the exposure is very low. With this being said, in my opinion there is nothing to be worried about. I hope this helps.
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QUESTION: Thank you for your quick reply, and one more question please, I don't remember if they covered other organs with the shield in an emergency. Do they always do that?I was so worried because he has already had so many long flights and x-rays , even I remember once they did two times to have good image. So you think there are no increased risks of childhood diseases because of that factor? Does it really damages DNA cells in babies?? are those studies from Berkeley California really something to worry about for the parents who did couple of X-rays to their babies?? and plus so many long flight radiation is harmful for babies?? Thank you for your information.
Again, I feel that given what you have told me, your child is not at risk for anything due to radiation exposure. Regular X-rays give a very small amount of exposure as opposed to exams like ct scan ( which is pretty safe in moderation as well). I'm not sure what studies you are referring to, but a good website to look at is the American college of Radiology. Here is a link with some information for patients about exposure.