What Should I Do If My Child Needs an X-ray?

Generally, X-rays certainly aren’t something that parents look forward to scheduling for their child, but they are one of the greatest tools we have to make sure children are OK! If you haven’t taken your child to get an X-ray before, what should you know about them?

Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team provides some helpful info below, so read on!

What Does an X-ray Do?

X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones and organs on film or digital media. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries.

The X-ray image looks like a set of shadows on a piece of plastic film that shows bones as white, air as black, and soft tissues as varying shades of gray. We’ve listed some reasons to consider scheduling an X-ray for your child below.

Reasons to Schedule X-ray

  • Inability to walk more than four steps
  • Joint immobility
  • Pain directly around the bone area
  • Swelling that doesn’t reduce with treatment

Do I Need to Prepare in a Specific Way?

No, you likely won’t need to make sure your child is specifically prepped for an X-ray. The only thing your doctor or radiographer will need your child to do is to remove all jewelry and any clothing that is over the part of the body that will need to be X-rayed. Your doctor will provide a gown or smock if needed.

We’ve listed the process of a typical X-ray below.

Typical X-ray Process

  • The radiographer will require proper positioning for the exam. Your child may be asked to stand up, lie down or sit down.
  • The radiographer will place your child between the X-ray machine and the imaging device that captures the X-rays being transmitted through that part of his or her body.
  • The radiographer may shield parts of his or her body with an apron or smock. This is to reduce the risk of unnecessary radiation exposure.
  • The radiographer operates the controls while each image is taken. To do this, he or she will stand behind a screen and call instructions to your child if necessary.
  • Your child may be asked to hold his or her breath for a couple of seconds as each picture is taken so that the breathing movement doesn’t blur the images.

Although summer camps like Camp Vesper Point and McCallie sports camps are fun, injuries can happen. Don’t wait to stop by our AFC Urgent Care Hixson center if your child needs an X-ray!