How to Prepare & Talk to Your Child
A parent's presence (for children not being sedated or having general anesthesia) provides the best comfort, but bringing your child's favorite blanket, book or toy may also be helpful. Avoid dressing your child in clothing with metal (zippers, snaps, etc.).
Ask for a child life specialist, a trained pediatric professional who uses distraction techniques, such as the use of light balls and sticks, bubbles, DVD players and music, to help prepare and calm your child.
It may be helpful to have another caregiver on-hand for your child's siblings.
- Comfort your baby with your presence and voice
- Depending on the test, bring a bottle of juice or formula for after the exam
- Dress in a two-piece outfit, not a "onesie"
- Also bring a bottle/pacifier, special blanket toy and stroller
Toddlers & Preschool-Age Children
On the day of, or right before the test, explain "you will have some pictures taken so the doctors can help you feel better."
- Use simple words and be honest
- Let your child know you will stay until they fall asleep
- Bring a favorite book, toy, or blanket and snack for after the test
School-age children have good imaginations and may frighten themselves by imagining something much worse than the actual test. On the day of, or right before the test, explain "you will have some pictures taken of your body so the doctors can help you feel better."
- Use simple words and be honest.
- Let your child know that you will stay during the test.
- Bring a favorite book, toy, game or CD for your child.
- Depending on the test, bring a snack for after the exam.