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What Is an X-Ray?

X-ray is a common test that creates a picture of the inside of the body. Pediatric X-ray images are helpful in diagnosing, treating or ruling out many medical conditions—from bone problems to congenital defects.


What to Expect During an X-Ray

Before having an X-ray, your child can eat normally. Some clothing or jewelry can interfere with the X-ray images.  Depending on what part of the body needs the X-ray, your child might need to change into a gown or paper shorts.

Your child must remain still while the X-ray is being taken. If your child needs help holding still, someone might hold them. Sometimes, we use positioning sponges or soft straps for support.

A technologist or child life specialist can help with distractions like sound and lighting to keep your child calm during an X-ray exam.

Portable X-Ray

Some kids can’t leave their hospital room for an X-ray exam. In this case, we use a portable X-ray machine. Decals on the portable machine help make the procedure less scary and the equipment less intimidating. 

Safety precautions

Gillette uses digital technology to deliver high-quality results while reducing your child’s X-ray radiation dose. We may use a protective lead shield to cover parts of the body that are not included in the exam. Any other people in the room during the X-ray also wear protective aprons. We take extra precautions for women who are pregnant and who must have an X-ray exam.

If your child requires respiratory support while undergoing imaging tests and diagnostic procedures, our respiratory therapy team provides expert care during procedures to ensure the highest standards of safety.


After an X-Ray

A specially trained pediatric radiologist interprets the X-ray images. We’ll send the results to the doctor who ordered the exam—usually within 48 hours. If the results are urgent, we’ll contact the doctor immediately. To receive the results, contact the doctor who ordered the scan.


Integrated Care

Gillette Children’s is accredited by the American College of Radiology and collaborates with St. Paul Radiology to provide expert reading of pediatric imaging studies. St. Paul Radiology is nationally known for its specialized expertise in interpreting radiological studies of children.

The X-ray team at Gillette specializes in working with kids who have disabilities and complex conditions.

  • Our facility includes specialized lifts and equipment.
  • We regularly work with children who use seating systems or wear metal fixators following limb-length surgery.
  • If your child has a condition that impacts the spine, hips or legs, or needs frequent imaging scans, we might use a special EOS X-ray machine.