Having a young child undergo a medical procedure is a stressful experience for children and parents alike. One of the best ways to support your child is to prepare them for the experience ahead of time. Preparing children for experiences lessens anxiety and increases coping skills.
An x-ray takes a picture of the inside of the body. Getting an x-ray picture taken does not hurt. The cameras are large and often intimidating to children. They make make noise as they move on tracks—sometimes the cameras suspended from the ceiling. The x-ray table might feel cold and hard. Sometimes clothing might need to be taken off or a hospital pajamas have to be put on. The x-ray technician will position a body for the pictures needed. Then a heavy, lead blanket will be placed on the part of the body not getting a picture taken. As a parent, you can ask to be with your child for the x-ray to help them cope with the procedure. You will be given a lead apron to wear as well. Directions will be given to hold still, take a deep breath and hold it, etc. and the technician will step into x-ray booth and take picture. When you hear the beep, the picture is done. If additional pictures are needed, the technician will continue to reposition and take additional x-rays. When the x-rays are done, a doctor will look at the picture to see what they need to do to help a person feel better.
A Social Story to read to your child before an X-Ray
Sometimes when you are sick or hurt and the doctor will need a picture of your body to see how to help you feel better. This picture is called an X-Ray. The picture will be of the inside of your body so you do not even need to say “cheese” or smile. Getting an X-ray picture does not hurt.
You will go to a special room to take the x-ray picture. There will be big cameras in the room and maybe even an “x-ray table” which really looks like a hard bed. You might have to sit or lie down on this x-ray table. Sometimes the camera might even be on the ceiling and move around on a special track. When the camera moves it might be loud.
When you have an x-ray, you might have to take off some of your clothing or wear hospital pajamas. The person helping take your picture will tell you how to move or hold your body and give you a very heavy blanket to put on the part of your body not having a picture taken. If your mom or dad wears a heavy blanket too, then they can be with you for your x-ray. The person taking the picture will move away and take the picture. You will hear a beep when it is done. When the picture is all done, you can get dressed and leave the x-ray room. Your doctor will look at the picture to see how to help you feel better. You might feel scared when you have an x-ray picture. That is okay. Your mom or dad can help you not feel scared. They can hold your hand or sing your favorite song to you. When it is done, you can feel proud that you did something hard.
This is general information is about a common medical procedure. This information is not meant to replace information provided by your health care provider. It is aimed to give you a basic understanding of what procedures are like, how your child might think and feel about them, and what to say prepare your child for medical experiences. Adapt these to fit the specific medical procedure and needs of your child.
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