Best Way to Bring a Child to an X-ray Room

The X-ray is the most common medical procedure car­ried out in childhood, largely because of the high number of chil­dren under the age of seven admitted to the hospital as a result of broken bones, and because of routine visits to the dental office.

Unfortunately, many children are upset and uncooperative during this procedure—even though having an X-ray isn’t painful. This lack of cooperation makes the radiographer’s job extremely difficult.

Bring a Child to X ray Room Best Way to Bring a Child to an X ray Room

X-rays are most prevalent in dental offices. A lead apron should be worn—especially for girls—when this routine proce­dure occurs. Explain to your child that the dentist will take a picture of his teeth, to make sure they are growing in the right way and are healthy. Tell your child that the X-ray will not hurt, but he might be slightly uncomfortable for a few seconds because he must keep inserts in his mouth in awkward places.

When a more serious medical situation exists, a child’s agi­tation is probably due to a combination of factors: the clinical surroundings, the protective robes that the medical staff have to wear, and the fact that his parents may not be allowed to accompany him while the X-ray is taken, especially if he is in an emergency room. Whatever the cause of his distress, your child’s reaction may mean that proper medical treatment is delayed.

Psychologists have found that the most suitable strategy to help a child through this situation is patience and calmness; not easy when you know your child is injured and needs imme­diate treatment. However, when accompanying your child to the hospital, reassure him that he will only have a picture taken of his arm (or whatever), that it won’t hurt him at all, and that he’ll be perfectly safe. Try to be with him in the X-ray room, if possible, because your presence will help to calm him.

Bring a Child to X ray Room 1 Best Way to Bring a Child to an X ray Room

The use of physical restraint or punishment in the X-ray room in order to coerce a child into cooperating with the radi­ographer rarely works. In most instances, this tactic simply upsets the child even more, further delaying important treat­ment. Never use threats to cajole your child into cooperating with medical staff.

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