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My Thoughts on How To Prepare A Child for CT Scan


by Fei | November 8, 2018

All of us might already have an idea as to what CT Scan is, we’ve heard this before and we’ve already seen some information about it too but what do we do when the time comes that our child needs to undergo this process? How do you prepare them? How do we explain it to them in ways that they’d understand? 

What is CT Scan and How Does It Help?

Before we can prepare our children for this procedure, we must first understand what a CT Scan is and how it is being used. CT Scan or Computed tomography scan is a special process in which a machine is used to take pictures inside your child’s body. The CT Scan machine is actually a large x‐ray camera that is also a computer. The CT scan machine resembles giant donut in a square frame. It’s also called Tomography scan or CAT Scan

Once the machine has been successfully set up, there will be a group of CT Techs or CT Technologists who examines the images being transmitted by the machine. They will be located in a separate room and will be responsible in controlling and producing the requested tests from your doctors. 

CT Scan is able to take images of internal organs, soft tissue, blood vessels and bones. This machine provides more detail than regular x-ray photos. It’s also safe to be performed on children and even newborns. These images will help doctors in their diagnosis. 

What to Expect During the CT Scan

After your check up and once the doctor has given you the request for a CAT Scan, they will already give you an instruction form and then explain to you what to expect and when you have to prepare your child. By being well-informed, we would then be able to help our children understand and be prepared. 

For older children, you can begin by explaining to them what this procedure is for and what it does, allow them to ask questions. For toddlers and young children, use informative but fun learning materials such as children’s books to let them understand what will happen. Also allow them to trust and know the people around them in the hospital, in this way, they will be less anxious. 

Most informative books for kids have colorful illustrations that will make them curious and confident about the machine. Tell your kids that seeing lights and hearing some weird noises are okay. Explain to them what they are in for and that there is nothing to worry about. Some hospitals will allow your child to have a toy with them, someone to talk to or even music to listen to. 

After CT Scan and Risks

As parents, we’d want to know if there are any risks involved in this procedure. While CT Scan uses radiation, it’s kept at the lowest amount as possible so don’t worry. Communication is very important and that means it’s also vital that you don’t hesitate to ask your doctors about the things that might bother you.  If your child wasn’t sedated during the procedure, you can actually go home after the CT Scan. If he or she was sedated it’s better to take time and rest.

The CT Technologist will send the scan photos to your doctor and you will then be notified for your next appointment where he will be able to explain the results. CT Scan, like any other medical process aims to determine a valid diagnosis and as parents, we would definitely want our children to be strong and prepared enough for this process. Being there to support them is our best way in helping them.