How To Prepare For Your Child’s CT Scan

“Just close your eyes and think of all the things you want to do after this. It will be over before you know it” – Imagination can help your child keep calm! The process of experiencing a CT scan can be quite overwhelming and scary for a child.

 “Just close your eyes and think of all the things you want to do after this. It will be over before you know it” – Imagination can help your child keep calm! 

The process of experiencing a CT scan can be quite overwhelming and scary for a child. It’s best to prepare beforehand to help keep them calm during the test. 

CT uses powerful computers and x-ray equipment for detailed cross-sectional images of our bodies. The process is quick, painless, non-invasive, and accurate; however, the child must stay still and properly positioned. 


The CT scanner is a large machine that resembles a giant doughnut with a hole. The doughnut has a camera that will capture pictures, whereas the bed where the child will lay slides in and out of the hole. 

Describing the appearance of the CT scanner will prevent fear when they see the machine. 


Explaining how things will go about will keep your child at peace as they know what happens next. Breakdown the entire process in steps so the child can understand better:

  • The doctor will ask your child to have a special drink called “Contrast,” which helps see the body’s insides better through the camera.
  • Your child will lay still while the machine takes pictures of the concerned area. The process itself will be quick and painless; however, the machine will make quiet humming sounds.
  • Nothing will touch your child.
  • One of the parents will be allowed to stay in the room with them.
  • The bed will have a seat belt to help keep your child safe and prevent falling.
  • The entire scan process will be over in 15 seconds or less (It all depends on how still he/she can be).
  • Depending on your child’s case, they may be wheeled in on a wheelchair or bed with wheels to get the CT scan.
  • In some cases, the child may need a “Contrast Injection” to see the body’s blood vessels and organs.


The technologist begins the scanning process by positioning the patient on the CT bed, usually lying flat on their back, but sometimes in other positions depending on the examined area. Straps and pillows help maintain the correct position and hold still during scanning.  

The technologist might leave the room when the scan is about to begin, but your little one will still be able to talk with them. They might ask your child to hold their breath to take a perfect picture at the first attempt. 

Once the image is taken, the technologist will return to the room. 


Because the CT scan is a non-invasive exam, your child can return to their normal activities immediately. However, some tests require anesthesia and contrast solutions; if your child received some, they might be requested to stay back for recovery. 

During discharge, they will be provided instructions/limitations, if any, for the day. 

If you need to get a CT scan, contact One Step Diagnostics and book an appointment today! 

At One Step Diagnostic, we provide the most comfortable environment possible for our patients. We value our patients’ experience and commit to meet all of their medical imaging needs in the most cost-efficient manner.


One Step Diagnostic has been Texas’s leading American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited radiology center since 2006. We employ board-certified radiologists to offer advanced imaging tests, including digital X-rays, MRI, CT, DEXA scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, and pain management services.


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