Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.Learn More
Imaging scans require your child to stay still for a certain amount time. This is important so that images are clear.
There are several ways to help your child stay comfortable, still, and relaxed. Options might include relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, listening to music, or watching a movie. Your child may work with a child life specialist to know what to expect. Sometimes, your child might need general anesthesia or other types of medicines for the scan.
Medicines: There are other medicines that can help your child stay calm and still during imaging scans. Your care team may suggest sedation medicines that make your child feel sleepy or relaxed. Other medicines include medicines to decrease pain or reduce anxiety.
Non-medicine options: Your care team may also work with your child to try non-medicine options or coping strategies like listening to music, watching a movie, deep breathing, or comfort positions.
Advantages of staying awake during a scan include:
Your care team will talk to you about options for your child. Tell your care team that your child would like to try a scan while awake. Your care team can work with you to develop a plan that is best for your child based on their age, medical needs, and type of procedure. Some scans may require general anesthesia because of how it is done or how long it takes.
A member of your care team will set up a time to discuss your child’s test. They will also ask questions to learn more about your child. This will help them know if your child can stay still long enough for the scan. Your care team will provide education and support to help prepare you and your child for their scan.
Ways to help your child get ready for scans may include:
Talk to your child's care team about ways to help your child be calm and still during scans. Towels, cushions, or safety belts may be used to help your child be comfortable and keep them in the correct position for the scan. Staff will be able to see, hear, and talk to your child during the test.
If your child struggles to stay still during a scan, the care team can:
If your child cannot stay still the first or second time, that's OK. Your child can always try again during a future visit.
Reviewed: January 2024