And SCARY Skeletons!
Unfortunately my gal Friday pretty much already knows all about x-rays and has seen inside her body way too many times for a kid her age, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like a good old-fashioned skeleton (of the monster variety)!
X is for X-rays
X-rays are just one type of medical imaging – which just means taking a picture of a body using some fancy machines to see what’s happening inside. Most often, x-rays are used to look at the bones inside our bodies, but they can sometimes be used for other things too.
X-rays use really high energy electromagnetic waves in order to see through the skin and muscles and look at a patient’s bones underneath. They can be used to check for a broken bone, to see if your bones are a different shape than they expect, and dentists even use x-rays to make sure your teeth and the bones in your mouth are healthy!
Electromagnetic radiation is the same thing that can give you a sunburn (and do a ton of other things that are actually really cool), so you don’t want to get x-ray images taken all the time, but getting one is no worse than just a few days of running around and playing in the sun so there’s nothing to be scared of! Just make sure to stay really still if you ever need an x-ray.
Which parts of the body are the doctors looking at in this x-ray? Does anything look weird to you?
A CT scan (or CAT scan) is a special type of x ray where they use computers to take a bunch of x-rays to be able to see structures in high detail, and they can even make the pictures into a 3D image! They allow doctors to get really good images not just of bones, but of things like our brains too!
Check out this video of a head CT. What parts of the head can you identify?
Check out this super cool activity at The Measured Mom to view your own x-rays at home, by making a light box and printing images onto overhead transparencies!
Your skeleton is the whole system of bones inside of you. And unfortunately it’s a little bit more complicated than “the head bone’s connected to the neck bone”!
Adults have over two hundred bones all together, but kids have even more! That’s because when we’re born, some of our bones are in a bunch of different pieces, but as we grow big and strong the bones join together.
What kind of animal skeleton is that?
The Kids Activity Blog has a really fun-looking game for identifying parts of the human skeleton that you can print for free! Remember we have 200 bones so there’s plenty to learn!
Skeletons as a monster have existed just shy of forever. They have been used to personify death in the form of the Grim Reaper. If I were to make a guess as to how people made a skeleton into a monster, it would be that skeletons were scary, because they’re only ever supposed to be on the inside. So a few stories about skeletons start up and suddenly everyone thinks death himself is running around with no skin.
Of course, skeletons would never work as a monster, because it’s our muscles that make us move! We need bones and muscles both to walk around. A skeleton without muscles could never rattle itself around.
Let me know if you talked with your kids about skeletons. Hit me up in the comments or on Discord!