How to Prepare for Paediatric Ultrasounds – Helpful Tips for Parents
If your doctor has referred your child for an ultrasound, you might be feeling a bit daunted by the idea of how your child is going to react to having a scan. It’s completely understandable for children to become upset in medical settings, as they may have formed some unpleasant associations due to past experiences; such as getting pinchy vaccinations, being treated for a painful injury, or just feeling poorly and scared in a clinical environment.
We’ve noticed a big increase in peadiatric referrals (under 16s) in our clinics, and while a lot of these medical referrals are for cool-headed teenagers, we do also have to scan very young children, even as young as little newborns! So, we thought a blog on how to prepare them for these appointments could come in handy!
The below tips have been collected from our sonographers and are the result of years of experience in scanning children of all ages and requirements!
Book the scan for their feeding time and bring their bottle to the appointment. This is great for babies and toddlers as they can have their bottle and be kept busy and placated while the sonographer scans.
Bring an ipad or a mobile device to the appointment (make sure it’s fully charged!) with their favourite cartoons downloaded and ready to go! We usually don’t allow devices into the scanning room, but we will happily make an exception here if it means your child is happy during their appointment.
We can try and scan sleeping babies in their baby seat if they’ve decided to nod-off in the car on the way! Obviously this will depend on the area we need to scan, but we can try to not disturb the baby if it saves you from a cranky baby on the way home!
Don’t bring another child to the appointment, but do have another adult with you for assistance. While we understand that childcare can fall through at the last minute, an appointment can quickly get chaotic if another sibling is in the scanning room and needs your attention. Our sonographers need to be able to give their full focus to the patient and be able to concentrate. This is also why we advise having another adult attend the scan with you and your child if they are quite young, as they can jump in and help out and provide even more reassurance if the child becomes upset.
If they’re old enough, reassure them that it’s not a painful or scary procedure. Here is an excellent video by Queensland X-Ray that explains what an ultrasound is to children, and takes the fear of the unknown out of their appointment. You can show this to your child before their appointment with us!
If your child has sensory issues, please let us know and we can do our best to accommodate, such as playing relaxing music or no music at all, speaking quietly, or letting them touch the ultrasound gel before the scan.
If you would like more information on anything covered in this post, you can get in touch via email@example.com or send us a message on our Facebook page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Our website theultrasoundsuite.ie also provides a wealth of information on our various policies and procedures.