If your child has never had an X-ray, they may be scared about this medical procedure and what it entails. You can help ease their anxiety by preparing them in advance. Explaining what an X-ray is, describing the process, and getting them ready before going to the imaging center can help them feel more comfortable. Medical tests can be scary, especially for young children, so it's important to do what you can in advance to help them understand what is going on and how the procedure will work.
Help your child get ready for their X-ray appointment by doing the following.
Describe X-Ray Equipment
Describe what an X-ray machine looks like and how they will have to sit or position their body for the procedure. It may help to get children's books from the library or look up videos online before the appointment so that your child can see what the equipment looks like and how it works. This can help familiarize them with the machines so that they are less scary overall.
Explain the Procedure to Your Child
Tell your child that the procedure doesn't hurt, but positioning their body may be uncomfortable if they have an injury. Most X-rays are fast, so talk about how quick the test will be and the importance of staying still. If they are worried about being alone, ask the clinician if you can stay in the room with them if you wear a protective apron. This may help your child feel more comfortable and make it easier for them to remain still for the test.
Prepare Your Child for the X-Ray
Dress your child in soft, loose clothing with no buttons or zippers. Remove any metal jewelry or hair clips. Explain to them that they may need to take off their shoes or wear a hospital gown for the test, but if they do, they'll get their clothing back right away. The technician may also be able to answer any questions that they have before the test.
It's normal for your child to feel anxious about having any medical test done, including X-rays. You can help them feel safe and secure by explaining the procedure well in advance so they know exactly what will happen. This can help the test go more smoothly overall so that you get clean, crisp images the first time and don't have to worry about repeating the test.
Visit a children's X-ray provider in your area to learn more.