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EEG for Children – Routine

Updated 23 February 2021

We have a child-friendly department with staff who are used to babies, toddlers and children of all ages and abilities. Electrodes are applied in a similar way to adults, often with the addition of a thin, stretchy netting hat over the top to discourage little 'helping hands' from touching and dislodging them.

The test can be adapted to suit the age of our younger patients and we have various toys and games to keep them amused while the recording is taking place. For example a baby can be cuddled on its mother’s lap and may like to have a feed.  Toddlers usually like to sit on an adult’s lap and play with toys, do a drawing or look at a book. A video player is usually available, if required, and we have lots of films and stories to watch.  Most children usually tolerate the EEG very well and some might like to listen to a story tape while lying quietly on the couch.

Eye closure is attempted if the child is willing, and small children can often manage the deep breathing exercise by blowing a toy windmill as a game. A flashing light may also be used as part of the test. Our flashing light is usually very popular and fun for children of all ages. 

The presence of an extra adult is usually welcome, to help amuse and distract a small child. However please note that it is not advisable to bring any other children into our clinic room while the test is going on, because it takes all our effort and attention to gain the maximum co-operation from the child having the EEG.

Consent for children

Because of the slight risk of provoking a seizure by activation, a parent or legal guardian must be present at the EEG, who has read the leaflet and can give informed consent to deep breathing (hyperventilation) and flashing light (photic stimulation). Otherwise these procedures will not be included in the EEG.