An X-ray is a picture of the inside of your child’s body and is the most frequently used form of medical imaging. An X-ray is an actual form of energy that passes through the body on to a recording plate that creates the image. X-rays are used to take still pictures of the bones and organs in the body. X-rays are painless, fast, and easy to get. At CHOC, your child will receive a high-quality and rapid X-ray examination using the lowest radiation dose possible and proudly follow the Image Gently campaign.
CHOC is proud to offer the EOSedge system at our main hospital location in Orange. CHOC is one of the only pediatric facilities in Southern California to have the latest version of the EOSedge system. EOSedge is a state-of-the-art, low dose 2D/3D X-ray imaging system used for the management of orthopedic conditions. After your child has an X-ray, the radiologist looks at the pictures and uses them to help the doctor diagnose problems.
When is an X-ray needed?
Health care providers order X-rays for many different reasons. These tests can help them find:
- Broken bones – used to see broken bones and bone healing after surgery or casts
- Problems with the bone – used to find and monitor things like scoliosis, bone spurs/growths as well as bone growth
- Chest x-ray – can help doctors find the cause of a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. It can detect signs of pneumonia, a collapsed lung, heart problems (such as a enlarged heart), and broken ribs or lung damage after injury.
- Abdominal x-ray – may help doctors find the cause of belly pain or vomiting. It can sometimes detect kidney stones, an obstruction (blockage), a perforation (hole) in the intestines, or a mass such as a tumor.
- Sometimes, the X-ray can show a swallowed foreign object (such as a coin). Abdominal X-rays also can help confirm that medical tubes are in the right locations in organs such as the stomach or intestines.
- Medical devices – to make sure VP shunts and catheter’s such as PICC lines and Broviac’s are in the proper location
Can an X-ray harm my child?
An X-ray is a safe, noninvasive procedure used to diagnose problems inside a patient’s body. The amount of radiation used in most examinations is very small. CHOC uses the minimum amount of radiation to obtain the necessary images.
How is an X-ray performed?
- The child removes any clothing or jewelry that may block the imaged body area. Depending on the exam your child may need to change into a gown.
- The child may sit, stand, or lay between the X-ray machine and the recording plate. Sometimes multiple positions are needed.
- The X-ray camera may come very close to the child to take a picture, but it will not touch. It is important for the child to remain still for each image taken.
- The X-ray technologist will go behind a console and push a button that takes the X-ray. You will hear a beep when the x-ray is taken.
How should I prepare my child?
There is no special preparation required for most X-rays. Your child can eat and drink as usual unless told otherwise.
It is helpful to:
- Give your child a simple explanation on why they need an X-ray.
- Bring your child’s favorite book, toy, or comforting object to have while you wait.
- If your child is feeling very anxious about the X-ray, our child life specialists can help ease any fears. Please let us know at the time of making the appointment if you think your child will need a child life specialist.
Will my child feel anything?
There is no pain associated with having an X-ray. Your child may be in an uncomfortable position for a very short time, depending on the imaging area.
What happens after the exam?
Your child will be ready to go home or see the doctor if you have an appointment scheduled. The radiologist will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child’s X-ray. After, your child’s doctor will discuss the results with you.
Why Choose CHOC?
- CHOC received the Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence® (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care.
- CHOC uses only board-certified pediatric radiologists and specially trained pediatric radiology technologists, nurses and child life specialists.
- All radiology staff undergo age-specific training annually to learn how to work and communicate with children of varying ages.
- We are only one of a few medical centers in the country to have child life specialists working in a dedicated pediatric radiology and imaging department.
Meet Our X-Ray and Fluoroscopy Director
Dr. Nahl is board certified by the American Board of Radiology with a certificate of added qualification in pediatric radiology.