No, this is not a picture of a baby stuck in a giant test tube.

By Hollee Actman Becker
June 03, 2016
Unknown User/Reddit

Of course this image of what looks like a baby trapped inside some crazy test tube contraption is going viral. And no, it hasn't been photoshopped.

What you're seeing here is actually a pediatric X-ray machine—with the unfortunate name of Pigg-O-Stat—and apparently, this thing is the

See, exposure to radiation at a very young age is a pretty solid concern for both medical professionals and parents. Which is why getting a baby's X-rays taken quickly and accurately is super important. But it's not always easy, given that infants are fairly unpredictable and like to wiggle around.

That's where the Pigg-O-Stat comes in. Described as "an all-in-one pediatric immobilization device designed for positioning infants and young children for an appropriate x-ray without significant complications," the machine gives the technicians in charge the best chance of capturing a great pic on the first shots. And fewer retakes mean less exposure to radiation for the beautiful baby. So it's basically a win-win.

But it still looks weird, which is why this picture was posted to Reddit with the simple caption "A baby getting an X-Ray looks hilarious."

And while not many Reddit users agree that the poor kid in the pic actually looks "hilarious," the resulting comments on the post most certainly are:

"I hope the teller sends a lollipop back with deposit slip!" wrote one commenter.

"Imagine opening one of those pilsbury biscuit cans and have this pop out at you," added another.

"That's not an X-ray," explained a third. "It's a TSA screening. That baby forgot to take his keys out of his pocket."

Mad props for the creativity. Though several radiology techs also stopped by to helpfully explain what's really going on.

"It might look hilarious, but it's a damn life saver," said one. "I use one every time I do a chest X-ray on a baby. Its use is to immobilize the child so that they don't wiggle around. It might look scary, but it saves me from repeating my images and excess radiation."

"Is it hard for parents to watch?" added another. "Yes—it can be. But in all honesty, I've had just as many parents pull out their cell phones to take pics to share with friends and family as I have had parents who get emotional."

SO not surprised!

"Rad tech here," offered a third. "As much as we'd love to still use those things, a lot of bigger hospitals are outlawing them. Apparently it's just too intense for the parents to watch. I wish we could still use them however is because it reduces motion, which reduces repeat X-rays, which reduces radiation exposure to the baby. Hell, I wish we could use them on adults too."

And finally: "I'm an x-ray tech," said a fourth. "The disturbing fact: The more they cry the better the picture. Because their lungs are full of air in between screams....we are terrible people."

Learn something new every day, kids! Though the biggest takeaway here might just be the fact that if you're looking for a radiology tech, you can probably find one hanging out on Reddit.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.

Comments (3)

April 20, 2019
Fyi: Your baby will not likely be that calm if you ever have to go through this. You will be crying while holding your screaming babies arms up to get him/her in there. Chest xray at that age are terrible to go through!
April 17, 2019
My first correction would be that the Pigg-O-Stat is not an x-ray machine, it is simply one of the many holding tools we use. You wheel this wonderful contraption in front of the X-ray tube and Bucky to get your images. But def NOT the x-ray machine... Second correction, and any and all xray techs will correct it at any time, we are technologists, not technicians. We play with science, not fix things. Very common misconception though, I'm assuming because technician is just a more common term. I like to tell people if they are unsure what to call us, x-ray tech, rad tech, or even RT works just fine, we will answer to all of those without that "are you freaking kidding me, another one??" Looks on our faces 😂 And yes, we all wish they would give Pigg-O-Stats back and make them in adult sizes too 🤣🤣
December 4, 2018
Quick tip for all you parents all out there: My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>>>SleepBaby .org<<<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! Sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link. >>SleepBaby .org<< Best of luck to you and your family! :)