Prepare for Your Visit Before You Arrive

Children's provides this general preparation information to help you and your child prepare for a radiology procedure. In addition, you can find more specific information based on the procedure.

How should I prepare my child?

Studies show that children and parents cope better with medical procedures when they are prepared ahead of time.

Please bring your child's medication to the appointment. You will be asked to provide a list of your child's medications and information regarding your child's injury or illness prior to the exam.

If possible, make arrangements in advance for the care of siblings on the day of the exam so that you can focus on caring for the child who is having the exam.

Infants

Although you cannot explain the test to your baby, you can help your baby feel more secure during the test if you:

  • Bring a special blanket, toy or pacifier.
  • Comfort your child with your presence and voice.
  • Be prepared to feed your baby after the test is done.

Toddlers and preschool-aged children

Young children can become anxious about having a test done, so the best time to talk with your child is right before the test.

  • On the day of the test, tell your child that he will have some “pictures” taken, so your child's doctor can help him feel better.
  • Use simple words and be honest with your child.
  • If a part of the test might hurt talk with your child about it and let your child know it is OK to cry.
  • Let your child know that you will stay with him as much as possible during the test.
  • When you come to the hospital, bring a favorite book, toy or blanket. You may also bring along a snack for after the test.

School-aged children

School-aged children may frighten themselves by imagining something much worse than the actual test.

  • One or two days before the test, tell your child that he is going to have some pictures taken of his body.
  • Use simple words. Be honest with your child, and explain exactly what will happen.
  • If it is going to hurt (such as a needle stick to start the I.V.), talk with your child about it and let your child know it is OK to cry.
  • Let your child know that you will stay with him as much as possible during the test.
  • When you come to the hospital, bring along a favorite videotape, book, toy or game. You may also bring along a snack for after the test.

Teenagers

Teenagers understand information about their illness and the imaging procedure but may be reluctant to ask questions about things they don't understand. Encourage your teenager to participate in asking the doctors and technologists questions and include him in discussions about his care.

  • Ensure teens that their privacy will be respected and modesty will be protected.
  • Bring a journal, book, music or game to help your teen feel calmer while waiting.
  • Give him time to ask the radiology team any questions he may have about the procedure. Involve him in planning and decision making if possible.
  • Let him tell you what he thinks will happen and how he feels.