When a baby gets an X-ray it looks like this

Last week, Reddit user Bretstar shared a pretty confounding image that then went viral on the popular image sharing site Imgur. The picture seems to show a baby snugly tucked into a tube, the baby’s sweet-cheeked face showing just the slightest hint of concern. What are you doing in that tube, baby?

As it turns out, the little tyke was getting an X-ray. The device in which the baby is hanging out is a Pigg-O-Stat, which is designed to hold the baby still during the X-ray process. Since you can’t expect a baby to follow instructions like, “Please don’t move while we’re taking your X-ray,” this handy gadget keeps them from wiggling around.

Their legs are held by an opening in the table and are dangling underneath, while their arms are kept up over their heads by the tube. It’s perfectly safe, and kids only spend a short amount of time in there. It makes the entire process faster and safer, as the technician is then able to get the X-ray on the first try and expose the baby to the lowest amount of radiation possible. Basically, it’s the safest and most efficient way to get an X-ray of a baby.

The Pigg-O-Stat site describes the gadget as such: “The Pigg-O-Stat is the world’s top clinically-proven, time-tested, and medically-trusted pediatric immobilizer.” Well then. It’s also been in use since 1960. Now you know! 

While we don’t know who this little tot is, or why he was getting X-rayed, we hope that all is well and that he’s out of the Pigg-O-Stat and wiggling free.

While some comments about this photo have been light-hearted, one commenter on Imgur posted a sobering reminder of why the Pigg-O-Stat is so important. Bringing it all back into perspective, user georgiasinclair wrote: “It might look hilarious, but it’s a damn life saver. It’s called a Piggostat [sic]. I use one every time I do a chest X-ray on a baby. Its use is to immobilise the child so that they don’t wiggle around. It might look scary, but it saves me from repeating my images and excess radiation.”

Consider us very thankful for these contraptions.

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(Images via Imgur and Shutterstock)