Helping Hand Logo

An X-ray machine is a camera that takes pictures of the inside of the body. The camera does not touch or hurt your child.

How To Prepare for the X-Ray

  • Be sure to tell the technologist if you are pregnant. If so, you will be asked to wait outside the room.

  • Tell your child what will happen during the test in a way he or she will understand.

  • Your child may be dressed in a hospital gown, either before he goes to X-ray or when he arrives.

  • Please remove any jewelry from the area to be x-rayed (such as rings, bracelets, glasses, necklaces or piercings).

child having an xray

What To Expect During the X-Ray

You may come back to the X-ray room with your child if you wish. You may be asked to watch from the doorway as the X-ray is taken.

If your child needs your help or wants you to be near, there is a lead apron that you will wear. If there is a chance you are pregnant, you will have to stay outside the room. If you prefer, you may wait in the lounge area of the X-ray Department until the technologist has completed the X-ray.

X-Ray for Older Children

An X-ray machine is a large camera. If your child is old enough to hold very still without help, he will be asked to stand, sit, or lie down on the table and hold very still.

A technologist will line-up the X-ray machine and X-ray plate, then step into the next room (control booth) and take the picture (Picture 1).

Your child may be asked to hold his or her breath. This keeps the X-ray from being blurry.

X-Ray for Infants and Young Children

using a columbus board

If a child does not hold very still during the X-ray, the picture may not be good and the X-ray may have to be done again.

Infants and very young children cannot always hold still on their own. For this reason a Columbus Board may be used.

The Columbus Board – The Columbus Board is used to take pictures of small children. The child is placed on the board on his or her back and the legs are secured.

The arms are held to help the child hold as still as possible (Picture 2). This does not hurt your child in any way, and allows us to take good quality X-rays. This method is used for many types of X-rays on infants and young children.

After the X-Ray

  • The technologist will tell you when the X-ray exam is over and you may leave.

  • Your child's doctor will receive the results and review what your child’s X-ray showed.

  • If you have any questions, feel free to ask the technologist who X-rays your child.

If you have any questions, please call the Nationwide Children's Hospital Radiology Department at (614) 722-2350.

Click here to view frequently asked questions about x-ray shielding.

X-Ray (PDF)

HH-III-17 3/77, Revised 8/15 Copyright 1977, Nationwide Children’s Hospital