Primary Children's Hospital

(801) 662-1000Map100 Mario Capecchi Dr.Salt Lake City, UT 84113

X-rays are invisible beams of ionizing radiation that pass through the body and are altered by different tissues to create images. This results in a two-dimensional picture that shows bones, lungs, and other organs. These exams are not painful but require your child to stay still for the picture. In some cases parents may be invited to stay in the room while the images are taken to help keep the child comfortable. Depending on the region being x-rayed, lead shields may be used on your child to decrease radiation exposure to other areas not being imaged.

The most common use of routine x-ray imaging is to diagnose bone injury and disease, such as fractures, bone infections, and osteoarthritis.

As with other medical procedures, x-rays are safe when used with care. Radiologists and x-ray technologists have been trained to use the minimum amount of radiation necessary to obtain diagnostic results. The amount of radiation used in most examinations is very small and the benefits greatly outweigh the risk of harm. X-rays are produced only for a brief moment while the exposure is made. For more information about radiation safety please refer to Image Gently.

If you think your daughter may be pregnant, please tell the technologist so that we can decide the best way to evaluate your situation.

Special instructions and preps for your child's exam

There is no preparation for a routine x-ray exam. Wear comfortable fitting clothing and leave valuables at home. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure, and may leave immediately following the exam.

Watch a brief child friendly video that demonstrates what happens during an x-ray procedure (En Español).

The x-ray images will be looked at by a pediatric radiologist who specializes in reading and interpreting images of infants and children. The radiologist will send a report to your doctor, who will discuss and explain the results with you.

Results are generally available from your child’s doctor within 12 to 24 hours. If the exam was done on an emergency basis, the results can be made available more quickly. In most cases, results cannot be given directly to the patient or family at the time of the test. If there are serious or unexpected findings, your child’s doctor will be notified and will speak with you before you leave the Radiology Department.

If your child is scheduled for a Fluoroscopy exam, here are some links that will provide you with information on the exam and help you be able to explain it to your child.

VCUG (Voiding Cysto-Urethrogram)
Upper GI

Watch a brief child friendly video that demonstrates what happens during a fluoroscopy exams. (En Español).

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