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Cook Children's
Patient and Family Education

CT Scan

What is a CT scan?

CT stand for "computed tomography". A CT or CAT scan takes special pictures of the body using X-rays. CT can show certain diseases, head injuries and many other medical conditions.

How we do a CT scan

A member of our radiology team will meet with you. We will ask about your child’s history, explain the procedure and answer your questions.

  • The CT scanner is a large donut-shaped machine.
  • You lay on a table that slides into the scanner.
  • Depending on the type of test, we may ask you to drink a special liquid.
  • Sometimes we give medicine by an IV (IV is placing a very tiny tube in the vein).
  • During the scan you do not feel anything but may hear the CT camera make a funny noise.

Will my child be sedated?

CT exams are very sensitive to movement.

  • It is important to lie perfectly still. 
  • We may need sedation for young children or children who have a hard time holding still.
  • You child’s doctor will order sedation when the CT scan is scheduled.
  • If your child needs sedation, a nurse will call you for additional medical information.
  • Our radiology nurse will also call you with special preparation instructions the day before your appointment.

Helping your child understand

Child Life specialists explain procedures to children. They use special words, toys, and games developed for each age group. This helps children better understand what happens during the exam. Child Life also helps children to relax and cope by using comforting stories and calming exercises.

Let us know if you or a member of your family would like to visit with a Child Life specialist before the exam.

Special Instructions

  1. Please report to Patient Registration at your child’s scheduled arrival time. 
  2. Remove jewelry from the part we scan.
  3. Parents can stay in the room during the procedure unless we use sedation.
  4. Expectant mothers may not be in the scan room during the procedure.
  5. Please do not bring other children. Your child will need all of your attention.   
  6. Your child can bring a favorite toy or blanket to snuggle with during the scan.
  7. Parents will complete a questionnaire about your child’s medicines and allergies.  
  8. If your daughter is 10 years or over, we will need to fill out a pregnancy questionnaire and possibly do a pregnancy test.   
  9. If you are unable to keep your child’s appointment please call us as soon as possible.

After the CT scan

After the exam is over, your child:

  • May eat and drink as usual.
  • May return to normal activities.

A radiologist reads the exam and sends the results to your child’s doctor. You may contact your child’s doctor for the results.

Radiology Imaging

801 7th Ave.
Fort Worth, 76104


This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.