An X-ray, also sometimes called general radiography, is a type of imaging that uses an ionizing radiation beam to create an image of the inside of the body to help physicians diagnose a range of conditions. The X-ray creates the images based on the density of the body parts it passes through, so dense materials like bone show up white on an X-ray, while muscles and soft tissue show up gray. Any part of the body can be examined with X-ray.
The X-ray machine can consist of a long table with a camera on top of it, or a large plate against the wall with the camera pointing at it. The camera may be positioned very close to your child but will not touch him or her.
An X-ray involves exposure to radiation, which can be concerning to patients and families. Johns Hopkins All Children’s follows the guidelines of Image Gently, which is a national campaign to minimize radiation doses without compromising diagnostic quality.
Our team uses the lowest radiation dose possible and tailors all imaging studies to the size of the child and his or her diagnostic needs to make sure that patients are exposed to only the amount of radiation necessary.
What to expect
Please bring your insurance and ID cards to your child’s appointment. One adult may accompany the patient into the X-ray room; others may wait in our waiting area.
Dress your child in comfortable clothes, and have him or her avoid wearing jewelry or clothes with metal (like zippers and snaps) in the area that is being examined. Your child may be asked to change into a gown for the X-ray. Your child will be provided with a lead shield to wear during the X-ray, as long as it does not interfere with the exam.
The X-ray technologist will position your child so the camera is pointing at the area of the body being examined. Most procedures require the technologist to take two to three images in different positions or from different angles.
While the X-ray images are being taken, it’s important that your child stays still so that the images are not blurry.
Your child’s X-ray images will be reviewed by one of our pediatric radiologists, and the results will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us.
A physician prescription is required for an X-ray.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please give us a call.