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Electroencephalogram In Children


An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures the electrical activity in your child's brain. An EEG can help caregivers diagnose brain conditions such as seizures and brain tumors.


Before your child's EEG:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
  • Do not give your child any caffeine the morning of the EEG. Caffeine may change the result of the EEG.
  • Give your child a regular meal before the EEG. This will prevent your child's blood sugar from dropping too low. Low blood sugar can change the result of your child's EEG.

During your child's EEG:

  • Your child's EEG will be done in a room that is dark and quiet. Your child will either lie in a bed or sit in a reclining chair during the test. A caregiver will talk to your child about the EEG. The caregiver will clean 16 to 25 areas of your child's scalp. Then, a gel or cream will be placed on these areas. Electrodes (sensors) will be placed on the gel or cream. The electrodes will be connected with wires to a machine or computer. An electrode may also be put on each earlobe.
  • Your child must lie very still with his eyes closed. He must try to relax. He must not talk during the test. Your child may need to breathe deeply and quickly for 2 to 3 minutes. Your child may be asked to look into a bright flashing light. Your child may be allowed to sleep during the EEG. He may be videotaped during the EEG.

After your child's EEG:

The electrodes and wires will be removed. Your child's caregiver will remove the cream or gel from your child's scalp and hair. Most EEGs are done in 90 minutes or less. Your child's caregiver may talk to you about the EEG results before you leave. Your child's caregiver may send a letter to explain your child's EEG results within 7 days.


The flashing light or fast breathing may cause your child to have a seizure during the EEG. Trained caregivers will be there to help him. If your child does not have this test, caregivers may not be able to treat your child's illness.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Electroencephalogram In Children (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes