Sometimes X-rays are necessary in order to diagnose medical ailments in children. While X-rays are not painful, the idea of getting them taken can be a little scary for kids. Practitioners who routinely X-ray children should be used to comforting them and helping them through the process. However, as a parent, you can also help your child navigate the process of having pediatric X-rays taken. Here are some tips to help you in that regard.
Practice "X-raying" stuffed animals at home.
Children often have an easier time understanding what's about to happen if you show them on a doll or stuffed animal first. So, when you are at home a few days before their X-ray appointment, set up a fake X-ray booth with some toys, and practice having them X-ray a stuffed animal. You could even use some paper to draw fake X-rays. Let your child hold the stuffed animal in the fake X-ray booth while you make some scanning noises and then hand them a drawn picture of bones. This can be a great starting point to explain what X-rays are and how they work.
Watch some videos of people getting X-rays.
Go online, and look for videos of people getting X-rays. Watch them alone before you watch them with your child. Make sure that the video shows X-rays as being pleasant and painless. If you can find a video in which the person has the same body part X-rayed that your child needs to have X-rayed, that is even better. For example, if your child needs their arm X-rayed, look for a video in which someone gets their arm X-rayed. Let your child ask questions as they watch, and do your best to answer those questions.
Schedule the appointment for the morning, if possible.
If you can, schedule your child's X-ray appointment for the morning. This way, they won't spend all day getting increasingly nervous or anxious about getting X-rays. They are also likely to be better rested and in a better mood in the morning. Plus, the practitioners giving the X-rays won't be as tired, so they may have more patience when dealing with your child.
If you follow the tips above, your child should have a more pleasant experience when getting X-rays. This is an important part of many diagnostic processes, but it does not have to be unpleasant for you, your child, or the doctors.
Contact your doctor for more information about pediatric X-rays.