Scanning a child is not easy, but it can be made much easier with the proper preparation.
A scan is a medical test used to diagnose many different conditions or injuries. Scans are often very quick and painless, but some children may need preparation before the procedure to alleviate their fears. This blog post will discuss what parents should do with their children to ensure they’re ready for a scan.
Most Common Medical Scans Children Undergo
X-rays were the first types of scans used in medicine. They help detect minor fractures, tumors, and other abnormalities of the bone. X-rays are usually painless, although some children have experienced the sensation of an injection due to a false belief that they are receiving one.
An ultrasound scan is another type of scan used in general medicine. It uses soundwaves to produce an image of the flesh or organs to determine abnormalities. Ultrasounds can also detect cysts and tumors in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and thyroid gland.
MRIs are the most high-tech form of diagnostic scan used in medicine today that can detect brain tumors or spinal cord injuries. Patients must exercise caution before getting an MRI because they contain strong magnetic fields that can affect your body if you have metal implants, such as pacemakers or surgical staples.
MRI scans can also reveal injuries and conditions of the tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and bursa. They can pinpoint the structure of different parts of your body by using a magnetic field to produce detailed pictures.
CT scans are also very common among doctors. They use substantial doses of radiation and contrast material to produce clear images of the inside or outside of your body. Many children have experienced nausea, vomiting, and a metallic taste in their mouth during CT scans.
CT scans can be used for general imaging or combined with x-rays, ultrasound, or MRI to view specific areas.
Tips for Preparing Children For a Scan
Preparing a child for a scan is crucial to ensure that they feel safe and secure during the test. Here are some tips you should consider:
1: Let Them Know What to Expect from the Test
It’s important to tell your child what will happen during the scan. This will help lighten any fears they may have about the procedure and help calm them down if they start feeling nervous or uneasy.
It is always important to explain in simple terms and without using medical jargon what the test involves. This helps to minimize anxiety and fear associated with it. You can even show pictures or videos explaining the procedure.
2: Practice Taking a Deep Breath
It’s normal for children to feel tense during a scan, so they must know how to deal with this. A deep breath is a perfect way for them to relax and get ready for the procedure.
3: Take Their Favorite Toy, Game, or Book
It can be helpful to bring along a toy, game, or book that your child enjoys, as this will distract them from the scan itself. This will help put their minds at ease and may even reduce their anxiety about getting an exam in general. It’s important not to overdo it since you don’t want the distraction to be so great. However, having something familiar to hold on to is an excellent tool for helping them remain calm while receiving needed medical attention.
4: Spread Positive Vibes
Your child must know you are right there for them. This can help them feel less anxious about being in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. Try to stay positive throughout the procedure, so your child knows that everything will be okay. It is also advisable that parents remain with their child during the scan, as it is often far more stressful for children to be left alone in a situation they do not know how to handle.
5: Let Them Take Control of the Scanner
It can help children feel more in control if they can press buttons on the scanner machine themselves. This gives them a sense that they are involved and helping with their own treatment, boosting their spirits and making them less nervous about what is happening around them.
6: Let Them Wear Comfortable Clothing
Depending on what scan they are to undergo, make sure to send them for the test in comfortable clothing. For example, when you prepare your child for an MRI scan, let them wear comfortable clothing with no metallic buttons and remove any jewellry that will affect the test.
7: Reward the Child’s Bravery
Children deserve to be rewarded for being brave. After the procedure, lighten the mood by asking them how it went and what they thought of it. Try to make a positive experience out of their scan so that they don’t view every medical procedure as scary or uncomfortable. Better yet, before the scan happens, plan with your child the reward you will prepare for them, such as treating them with ice cream or a new toy.
What if Children Won’t Cooperate?
Although this scenario is not common, it has happened when patients are very frightened or upset about something. In such cases, remind them of what you told them earlier regarding what they can expect from the scan or procedure. If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask the staff, who will be happy to answer them for you prior to the procedure.