Desert Radiology Advises on Best Brain Wellness Practices for Children
At Desert Radiology, we are always informing our community and building on their understanding of wellness practices and healthy living. Since March is Brain Health Awareness Month, our team wanted to highlight some useful information about pediatric brain health for parents and teachers as they begin planning activities for their children in the coming months.
There are many exercises parents and teachers can use to help improve their children’s brain health while they are at school, home or summer camp. While these won’t protect against trauma or other physical abnormalities, they will help reinforce your child’s brain muscles and improve their memory and thinking abilities.
- Daily Exercise: Multiple research studies show daily exercise helps increase your heart rate and blood flow to the brain which can improve memory retention and lower the risk of brain-related diseases. Experts suggest 30-60 minutes of heart rate-increasing physical activity and play several times a week.
- Proper Sleep: Ensure your child gets a proper eight-hour sleep each night. This gives the brain time to consolidate memories and will help increase your child’s focusing and thinking skills.
- Engage in Mental Exercises: Like other muscles, the brain also needs to exercise to stay in peak shape. Packing a book or a crossword puzzle in your child’s school bag or summer camp luggage is a great way to help them continue working their mental muscles while they are away.
- Balancing Their Diet: Ensure your child’s diet is well-balanced and limits junk food and processed foods. Seafood, leafy greens, nuts and seeds and whole grains are great additions for a well-balanced diet that will help their brain development.
In the event of a known brain injury or trauma, your child’s primary doctor may ask to schedule an MRI to better understand the nature of abnormality affecting their brain’s health.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is a painless test that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create an image of organs, muscles, soft tissues and structures. These images are ideal for detecting tumors, cysts, swelling, infections and other abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. MRI’s are different from CT scans because they don’t use radiation, making them perfectly safe for children.
The MRI process generally takes 15 – 45 minutes depending on how many images are needed. During the procedure, the patient is placed onto a table and is moved into a tube-like machine. While inside, the patient will need to remain still as the machine uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images that are sent to a computer. Loud noises from the MRI machine may be heard during the duration of the procedure and are normal. Headphones with music are provided to help provide a comfortable experience. A professional MRI technologist will be present to help ensure the procedure goes smoothly and to answer any questions or concerns the patient has during the scan.
The Desert Radiology team is committed to educating the Southern Nevada community on the best wellness practices every month. As we enter the spring and summer months, we will continue to help inform our patients and serve our community with the latest in imaging technologies and industry advancements.