How is an x-ray performed?

  • You and your child will meet the imaging technologist, who will take you to the X-ray room and take the pictures
  • You will see the X-ray machine when you enter the room. It is like a big camera
  • Since the X-ray machine takes pictures of different parts of the body, your child may sit in a chair, stand up or lie down on a table while having an X-ray
  • It is important to explain to your child that the X-ray “camera” will move but will not touch their body
  • A black hard board will be gently placed on the part of the body that needs an X-ray. It is the film that the pictures come out on
  • A heavy lead vest or cover will be placed over other parts of your child’s body that do not need to be X-rayed
  • The technologist will take the pictures needed, giving your child very specific explanations and instructions
  • Once the X-ray pictures are taken, the imaging technologist will look at them to make sure the doctors have what they need to help your child. Sometimes they will need to take more X-rays

What can I do to help my child?

  • Children like to know what they will need to do. Explain to your child of their only “job” is to hold still and hold their breath when the imaging technologist asks them to. You can help them by practicing
  • Tell your child that if we need to move the part of the body that is hurting, we will be very gentle
  • Praise the child often during and after the X-ray

For additional questions regarding your child’s X-ray, please contact the pediatric imaging child life specialist from John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Services at MGHfC at 617-724-1153.

Rev. 10/2012. This document is intended to provide health related information so that you may be better informed. It is not a substitute for a doctor's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.