What is an X-Ray ?
X-rays, also called films, are the most common form of imaging. They provide a two-dimensional picture of a child’s bones, lungs and other organs, and can also detect air inside the body, and metal objects. They do not provide information about soft tissues and organs: these are better assessed with MRI and ultrasound.
X-rays are invisible beams of energy. Some of these are absorbed by bones and any dense materials in the body. Others pass through the body and are picked up by a picked up by a detector which then creates a picture of your child's anatomy.
Because bones contain calcium, a mineral that absorbs X-rays, these appear white against a dark background.
Physicians routinely use X-Rays to diagnose bone fractures, pneumonia, and obstruction of the bowel or to locate foreign objects in the body.
How should I help my child get ready for an X-ray?
There is no special preparation for this test. Before the exam, your child may be asked to change into a gown.
What happens during the test?
Your child will be asked to lie on an X-ray table in a certain position. We will leave the area we wish to examine exposed, then cover the other parts of the body with a lead apron to avoid unnecessary radiation.
Your child will need to stay very still for several seconds, as we create the X-ray image, and we may need to take more than one view of the area we are evaluating.
What can I do to help my child during this exam?
You may remain with your child during the exam to provide comfort and reassurance. If you do, you will wear a lead apron to protect your body from unnecessary radiation.
We can also arrange to have a child life specialist present to explain this test and help put your child at ease.
Are there any risks?
Although an X-ray uses radiation, your child will be exposed to minimal doses during the exam.
What happens afterward?
A radiologist will analyze the X-ray and your child’s doctor will explain the results. In some cases the radiologist may tell you the results right after the test.