Image Gently campaign reaches out to parents through physician offices

As part of its efforts to raise awareness about opportunities to lower radiation dose used in pediatric imaging exams, the Image Gently campaign has developed materials to educate parents about medical imaging and to help them track their child's past imaging exams.

The Image Gently campaign was launched last year by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, has been focused primarily on CT scans. There were approximately 4 million pediatric CT scans performed in 2006 and the number of pediatric CT scans performed in the United States has tripled in the last five years.

Pediatricians and other physicians are encouraged to download the materials from the Image Gently website, and make them available to parents in waiting rooms and offices. A special section of the Image Gently website will also provide parents with up-to-date information regarding children's imaging and tools to understand the benefits and concerns associated with medical imaging procedures, according to Marilyn Goske, MD, chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging.

Parents will be able to record where and when a study was performed, as well as the type of radiologic exam, using the "My Child's Medical Imaging Record" tool.

Physicians can download patient education brochures for parents that provide lay definitions for various imaging exams that utilize radiation, informing parents of potential risks associated with the studies. The brochures also provide dose estimates in comparison to natural background radiation, discuss possible alternative examinations that do not utilize radiation and equip parents with questions to ask their imaging providers so that they can make better informed decisions regarding their child's care, according to the campaign.

The imaging record card and the patient brochures are available at and on the American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents and pediatricians.