Accessibility Tools

How to Prepare for Your Child’s CT Scan

How to Prepare for Your Child’s CT Scan
How to Prepare for Your Child’s CT Scan

CT (computed tomography) uses x-ray equipment and powerful computers to create detailed, cross-sectional images of your child's body. This procedure is completed quickly, within seconds after properly positioning your child for the scan. CT scanning is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. It is useful in the diagnosis of a variety of injuries and diseases.

The CT scanner is a large machine that is shaped like a giant doughnut. Your child will be expected to lie still while the machine takes images of the area that is of concern. CT scans are less sensitive than an MRI so the need for complete stillness isn’t as crucial with a CT scan. The machine is very large and will make a quiet humming sound, the images are captured quickly. Like traditional x-rays, it produces multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body.

Things to tell your child before their CT scan to best prepare them :

  • Your child may be asked to drink a special drink called contrast to help the doctor see the pictures that are taken of the insides of your child’s body.
  • The camera looks like a big doughnut with a hole in the middle. The bed will slide into the hole when it is time for their pictures.
  • Nothing will touch them and having the pictures taken do not hurt.
  • A parent and a nurse may be able to stay with them in the room.
  • The bed that your child may lay on may have a seat belt, this is to keep them safe just like when they are in a car.
  • The CT scan is quick and painless. It is over in 5-15 seconds, especially if they can hold still.
  • They may ride in a wheelchair or a bed with wheels on their way to get your CT scan.
  • Sometimes your child may need to have a contrast injection, which helps see blood vessels and organs of the body. The contrast fluid is given through a small IV (intravenous, or a drip) line, which is a small tube inserted into a vein. Your child may be asked to fast.

The person who will do your child’s CT scan is called a technologist. Just listen to their instructions, and everything will be okay! The technologist will have to leave the room before the scan starts but your child will be able to still talk with them. They may ask your little one to hold their breath to take the perfect picture of their insides. The technologists will return once the pictures are taken. The technologist will send the pictures taken to a radiologist, a special kind of doctor who knows how to read your child’s scans. Your regular doctor will let you know what they saw in the photos and they’ll tell you what to do next.

If you need to get a CT scan contact Houston MRI at 713.425.8190 and set up a consultation today.

Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide the patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.