> Skip repeated content

What Parents Need to Know about Summer Injuries and Radiation from X-rays

New York, NY—July 6, 2010

Who:  Dr. Helene Pavlov, Radiologist-in-Chief at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, a leader in treating children and adults for bone, joint, muscle and tendon injuries, is available to discuss summertime bumps and bruises in children and what parents should understand about radiation safety regarding X-rays and other types of imaging.

What: With summer upon us children will be out in force running, playing their favorite sports, riding bikes and having fun with their friends. As much fun as these activities can be, injuries can sometimes occur, sending children to their local hospital’s emergency department for X-rays, CT scans and more.

Recent media coverage about high levels of ionizing radiation associated with the frequent use of CT (computed tomography) scans has heightened fear and concern among parents regarding radiology and imaging. Dr. Pavlov can discuss the important safety protocols and procedures that parents should take into consideration when their children need imaging for possible fractures.

Four Things to Keep in Mind: 

Less is Best
Children are still growing and their bodies are more susceptible to the effects of ionizing radiation – the less ionizing radiation the better. Parents should ask if the center emphasizes ALARA, the acronym for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” with regard to ionizing radiation exposure.

Talk to the Doctor
Before agreeing to an imaging examination, Dr. Pavlov suggests parents ask what the doctor suspects is the problem and whether there is a non-ionizing radiation imaging examination and expertise available, such as an MRI or an ultrasound examination that could be substituted for the specific condition clinically suspected.

Make Sure Shielding is Practiced
Ensure that the radiology technologist shields the child and confines the area being exposed. It is okay to ask if the technique being used has been adjusted to the size of the child.

Inquire About Repeat Rates
Ask about the center’s repeat rate, or how often an image needs to be repeated because of excessive motion, incorrect positioning or improper technique. If it is high, parents may want to choose a different imaging center for their child’s examination. It is also wise to inquire about the number of pediatric patients seen. The higher the percentage of children, the more experience the team has in acquiring the image correctly on the first try.

About Hospital for Special Surgery Department of Radiology and Imaging
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Department of Radiology and Imaging has the largest and most experienced academic musculoskeletal radiology faculty in the world, each with academic appointments at Weill Cornell Medical College. HSS radiologists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and have received numerous awards by honor and professional societies, including the Consumer's Research Council of America Guide to America's Top Radiologists. The Department's focus is diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions and diseases and their treatment utilizing image guidance. More than 200,000 musculoskeletal examinations are performed annually, of which approximately 150,000 exams are conventional radiography, 24,000 Magnetic Resonance (MR), and 12,000 Ultrasound (US) examinations.  Other modalities include Computed Tomography (CT), Nuclear Medicine (NM), and Teleradiology.  All images are acquired digitally and transferred to the referring physicians via PACS.

HSS Radiologists are committed to excellence and under the direction of Dr. Helene Pavlov, Radiologist-in-Chief, emphasize that diagnosis depends on quality image acquisition and expert interpretations and that “all images and imaging are not created equal." For more information on the Department of Radiology and Imaging at Hospital for Special Surgery, contact 212-606-1132 or send an email to info@imaging.hss.edu.


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


Need Help Finding a Physician?

Call us toll-free at:

Conditions & Treatments

adult child
Select A Body Part
Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult spine Conditions: Adult shoulder Conditions: Adult elbow Conditions: Adult hand Conditions: Adult hip Conditions: Adult knee Conditions: Adult ankle Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult full body Conditions: Child spine Conditions: Child elbow Conditions: Child hip Conditions: Child hand Conditions: Child knee Conditions: Child ankle Conditions: Child full body

Conditions A-Z

Media Contacts

Tracy Hickenbottom
Monique Irons
Sherry Randolph


Social Media Contacts