McLaren Health Care
Pediatric Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine Scan for Children

Children have special needs, especially when it comes to medical tests and hospital visits. That's why the Department of Nuclear Medicine offers a skilled pediatric team and special services to make testing easier for young patients.

Before a procedure, the team personally contacts parents to explain the testing procedures for young patients, said Larry Meakem, manager of the department. Our teams are fully equipped to answer any questions or concerns the parents may have.

Imaging for younger patients often brings special challenges. They're dealing with strangers wearing uniforms and it can be frightening. Contacting parents ahead of time can help put parents at ease, which often means the children are more comfortable, too.

Parents get all the necessary information:

  • How long the test will take
  • What they can expect and what might happen unexpectedly
  • Advice on how to minimize any negative aspects of the testing
  • Reassurance that one (or sometimes both) parents can remain with the child during testing because of the low radiation levels involved

In addition, the department provides a TV and DVD player to help keep younger patients occupied. Other pediatric services include special scheduling to accommodate feeding or nap times (this may allow babies to sleep through the test), or school schedules for older children.

The most common pediatric referrals come from urologists, internal medicine specialists and orthopedic specialists whose patients require bone scans for athletic injuries.

However, the department provides a full range of pediatric studies designed to evaluate skeletal, gastrointestinal, urological conditions, or disorders related to cancer or neurological conditions.