Kid Friendly CAT Scan - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

12.29.06

Kid Friendly CAT Scan

A CAT scan can be intimidating for adults, so imagine keeping a two-year-old still for the test.
    

  Now instead of sedating terrified kids with drugs to calm them down, doctors are depending on cartoon characters to do the trick. 

It's an attempt to make the x-ray test more kid-friendly.

The experience begins in the waiting room which is kid-friendly with cartoons playing on the big screen. A cartoon explains how it works and why it's important to lie still. Children can also put toys through a kitten scanner that shows them the process isn't anything to fear. They also get a bit of control by choosing a video they'll watch during the procedure.

"If we allow the child to actually control how the experience unfolds, he'll feel more empowered.
He'll feel less anxiety and he'll be able to cooperate with the exam more easily." says one doctor.


"If we allow the child to actually control how the experience unfolds, he'll feel more empowered.
He'll feel less anxiety and he'll be able to cooperate with the exam more easily." 


Kids choose a "theme" card, then an ambient light show along that theme is shown to the patient while they are in the CAT scan. 
  
Kkids can choose one of four different themes.  "A five-year-old boy might select a theme that relates to aliens, whereas an eight-year-old girl might select a theme that shows underwater fish."
    

The animated characters help take the child's mind off an otherwise scary situation.

"It does calm their fears and the way that we have demonstrated that is that there are fewer children who need to have sedation in order to undergo the exam."
    

The test itself takes minutes. If a child needs to be sedated it can take hours.

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