Pediatric EEG for seizures toddler
September 16, 2023 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Looking for parent experiences for an outpatient EEG experience for a toddler- 3.5 year old.

Looking for parent experiences for an outpatient EEG experience for a toddler- 3.5 year old
I am absolutely terrified that it will be a mess.
Who knows if he will tolerate it. It is done in a pediatric neurologist office and they told me that they are good at what they do and dealing obviously only with kids. But they didn’t give me too many instructions. It starts at 10 am so maybe I should wake him up super early and play from maybe like 5am? We have a long drive- about 1.5 hours so really we should be leaving by 7am
We will bring dad who he is most attached to, will bring his tablet with favourite shows, I will have a toy that I will wrap up and tell him he will get at the end once he listens to their instruction.
I am terribly anxious about the EEG and his willingness to do it and what will happen if he doesn’t
posted by barexamfreak to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I can’t give you parent experiences but I can tell you I was an extremely fussy and sensory-sensitive child who had EEGs at that age and they were able to do them without issue. The part that I hated was when they took the gel bits off (don’t know if those have improved in the past 20 years, would hope so) but that’s after the EEG was done so they were always able to get the readings, though parents had to deal with an upset child afterward. But I always got over it.

Needing to have an EEG is a scary thing in itself, I’m sure you’re very worried about your kid and it’s channeling into this. The doctors have lots of techniques for working with uncooperative kids. The tablet with his favorite shows is a good idea, we didn’t have tablets back then but they distracted me with TV and it worked quite well even though it was just whatever random VHS tapes they had. If I had my FAVORITE show on they probably could have gone on for hours—kids at that age are very easily mesmerized by screens, and even more so by Their Interests.

It’s going to be okay! Best of luck, and remember to take care of yourself too.
posted by brook horse at 9:30 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]

Oh wow I participated in a study on this literally today! I am not a doctor or anyway I’m the medical profession. I was helping him setup Python on his laptop. But I got to see them work with a kid slightly older than yours, and got to take EEG myself. It was no big deal for me but they did a lot with the younger kids to make it not feel like a hospital or scary. In case your worried if it is scary it will only be if your nervousness causes him to be nervous or he’s just a kid and cranky. It’s like putting on a baseball hat in terms of discomfort and he probably won’t notice it is being done. I would say in general the parents seemed more worried, way more worried than the kids. They specifically told the parents not to break routines if possible. I’d just listen to your doctor on this. If they can’t sit still long enough they give them a sedative to sleep but I didn’t see that.

But trust me they’re really, really good at distracting and getting the kids distracted. I bet if you treated it like any other outing like going to the grocery store the kid won’t even know.

Take this for what you will but I just saw this for the first time not two hours ago. Again my role was helping a friend setup Python and I was bored so I told him I’d go to see how it’s done.
posted by geoff. at 9:40 AM on September 16

Hey! We have done a lot of short outpatient and overnight inpatient EEGs with my son. One of the first things the tech said as she was attaching the leads to his head (while I held him and read books to him, and my husband wielded the ipad with soothing music) was, “it is really nice that you guys are here with him and helping distract him.” They can work faster the better you come prepared to be the play partner or distracter. They also offered their own various distractions (ipad, cartoons, lower light, etc) which probably work well for some patients. But my experience is really limited to only a couple hospitals and their corresponding clinics.

So, some details from my particular parent perspective—depends on the clinic but for shorter (not overnight) EEGs they will use attaching stuff that is easier and faster to apply so that process should go more quickly. They have always stated they wanted him sleep-deprived, but definitely check with your neurology team on that. In fact, does the clinic/hospital have a telehealth line? You could call them and ask questions about the procedure, any tips they might have, sometimes they are very good at soothing worries because they do this so much and they have seen so many different kids. On my son’s last one he got to pet a therapy dog.

GOOD LUCK! It is a little scary the first time (?) but you guys can do it! My son is not wild about them but he tolerates them well, and he is super sensitive.
posted by pepper bird at 8:11 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]

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