Expertise when it matters most

Children are offered many of the same scans as adults. However, we recognise that the experience can be strange or frightening experience for them so we take great care to make it as friendly and comfortable as possible.

It can be helpful to explain to children exactly what will happen when they come for their appointment. Parents could even show them what to expect by demonstrating with a cuddly toy or creating pretend appointment.

The parent or guardian will be able to stay with their child during their scans although they will need to wear a lead apron to protect themselves if the child is having an X-ray (including a CT scan). It is a good idea for children to bring a book or favourite toy to hold during the procedure.

Types of Paediatric scans that are available:

Ultrasound scans are used to get a detailed picture of a part of the body and to assess how well it is working. They are ideal for looking at soft tissue, such as internal organs (liver, bladder, kidneys) and muscle. They are painless and safe because they use sound waves rather than radiation.

During an ultrasound scan, jelly is applied to whichever part of the body is being scanned. This helps to conduct the sound waves inside the body. The child won’t be able to hear the sound waves, as they are too high a frequency for the human ear to hear.

The appointment letter will detail whether the child can eat or drink beforehand. If they are having an abdominal scan, they shouldn’t have food or drink for four hours beforehand. If they are having a kidney scan, they will need to drink plenty of fluid so the bladder is full. Following the scan, the child will be able to go home straight home.

X-rays are ideal for looking at bones and lungs. Because there is risk to unborn babies from radiation, the radiographer will routinely ask girls over the age of 12 if there is any possibility that she could be pregnant. Please do not be offended by this. They may be asked to stand up, sit down or lie on the bed, depending which part of the body is being X-rayed. Having an X-ray exposes your child to a small amount of radiation. Each X-ray is calculated to minimise the exposure to radiation. If the parent is pregnant we recommend bringing someone else to the appointment that can sit with the child during the X-ray instead.

CT scans use X-rays to build up a 3D picture of the internal structures of the body. Some scans will require an injection of a radiographic dye to show up the area more easily. A local anaesthetic cream can be applied if necessary. The scan will take between five and 20 minutes. It will make some quiet noises while the X-rays are being taken. The radiolographer will sit in an adjoining room but they will be able to talk to the child through a microphone.

The appointment letter will detail about whether the child can eat or drink before the scan. Some children may need to be given sedation or a general anaesthetic in which case they will not be able to eat for several hours beforehand. CT scans use radiation but are only used if the benefits outweigh the risks involved.

This type of scan uses a magnetic field to take pictures of the inside of the body. For a child, the experience of having an MRI scan can be a little intimidating as their whole body enters the scanner as they lie on the couch. For this reason, children may be given sedation or general anaesthetic before having the scan. In the case of babies, giving a feed just before the scan and then wrapping the baby tightly in a towel can make them fall asleep. They can then be scanned as they lie still.

The scan itself is painless although it is not suitable for people who have certain type of metal implants in their body as they can interfere with the magnetic field. After the scan, the child will be moved to the recovery room if they have had anaesthetic or sedation. If they were scanned without anaesthetic, they will be free to go home immediately.

Our Consultants that can help

For fast, reliable radiology services, contact Windsor Radiology

To book an appointment or discuss a diagnostic test in more depth, use our contact form below or contact us directly using your preferred method.

T: 01753 396245