Preparing your child for an EEG
Your child might not understand why they need to have an EEG or what is going to
happen to them during the procedure, even if you have tried to explain it to them. Our highly trained Neurotechnicians try to explain the EEG process step by step, instead of giving a summary at the start of the procedure.
What is an EEG?
EEG stands for Electroencephalogram. An EEG measure and records the way neurons in the head talk to each other and get information. To record these impulses, we use something that looks similar to a swimmers cap. This special elastic cap has electrode discs embedded throughout that will read the activity of the brain. Your EEG technician will add gel to each electrode disc through the cap and onto the scalp using a slight scratching motion. The cap is connected to a series of wires that transmits the information onto a computer which is later read by a specialist. The EEG process for a compliant adult will take approximately 45 minutes. We usually allow longer for children (see below). For a compliant adult, an EEG involves 10 minutes of eyes closed recording in a relaxed, awake and alert state, in a dark and quiet room.
What can I do for my child coming in?
We strongly recommend that you familize your child with our EEG procedure prior to coming into our clinic. Show a photo of the EEG cap (see images below) and explain that he or he will be wearing it on their head, they will have an electrode clipped to each ear and have a single lead placed with tape on the left side of their chest. Mostly importantly; they will need to keep their eyes closed and sit upright in the chair during the EEG recording. Practice with your child by having them wear clip on earrings and a snug cap.
Ask your child to sit quietly with their eyes closed. This is a painless procedure but can be very scary for a child if they do not understand what is going to happen. Please practice with your child by having them close their eyes in a dark room for at least 20 seconds at a time. Ideal recording time if 10 minutes, however we can utilize 20 seconds segments if the subject is relaxed with eyes closed. Our goal is to reduce the anxiety of your child and make it a positive experience for them. This will help us to get a more accurate reading.
My EEG At the Brain Treatment Centre
Today I am going to the Brain Treatment Centre.
I will be meeting some new people and some people that I have met already. These people will be helping my brain to work better.
Some of the people I see at the Brain Treatment Centre can be the Doctors, some can be the Technicians, some may be people like the Admin Manager, or the Client Liaison Officer. All these people are really nice and they like helping people and helping their brains get better too.
Today I will be having my EEG done. This is the most important thing that they do at the Brain Treatment Centre.
This is how the Doctor can see my brain waves so that they are able to tell me all about how special my brain is.
The EEG measures my brainwaves, these brainwaves show how my brain thinks.
Then the EEG cap is placed on my head so that my brain can be measured from a lot of different points on my head.
Each of these electrode points has a little bit of gel put down inside them and my head is given a little tickle. This is how the electrode point can send the information about my brain to the computer.
Each of these electrode points has a little bit of gel put down inside them and my head is given a little tickle. This is how the electrode point can send the information about my brain to the computer. The gel feels a little cold on my head.
Also, an ECG is placed on my chest to record my heartbeat. The information from my heart also needs to be recorded. I also have electrodes that are placed on my ear lobes. These also record information which will help the doctors see how my brain works.
Everyone is very excited to see my brain waves. When it is time to start recording my brain information, the Technician turns out the lights and asks me to sit still and quiet with my eyes shut.
I must sit very quietly through this part of the process so my brain waves can be recorded. It is very important I am very still and that my eyes stay shut.
Sometimes the Technician who is doing this will tell me to relax and be still. The technician is really nice and friendly, and this helps me to be still while the machine is reading my brain waves. The technician tells me that I am doing great sitting in the chair and that the EEG is going really well.
I can hear the technician count down the time when the EEG is all finished.
Soon the EEG is finished and now I can open my eyes again. The cap and all the other electrode points are disconnected. Now the ear clips are removed, and the EKG point is taken off.
The cap is now removed. This feels good!
Everyone is happy with me!
The Technician is happy!
Mum is happy!
And I am happy too!
It has been a great EEG!