What to Expect
Preparing for a Clinic Visit
- Fax us records. Ask your child’s primary care provider to fax us records about your child’s overall health and growth. If your child is seeing a neurologist, the fax number is 206-985-3389. For neurosurgery, fax to 206-985-3385.
- Provide test results related to your child’s condition. Most of the time, the doctor who refers you to Seattle Children’s will send copies of lab results, imaging studies and other helpful information. Ask your doctor to send them, or bring copies to your appointment.
- Learn more about what to do before your appointment.
After check-in, you and your child will go to an exam room. Members of the neurosciences team will see your child.
Your child’s doctor may order some tests. Depending on your child’s condition, they may need 1 or more of these:
- EEG (electroencephalogram)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- CT (computed tomography) scan
- Blood tests
Your child may need follow-up clinic visits and possibly more testing.
For information on visiting Seattle Children’s clinics, please see Your Child’s Clinic Visit.
Preparing for an EEG
An EEG (electroencephalogram) records the electrical activity of your child’s brain, sometimes called the brain waves. First, we place small metal disks around your child’s head. This does not hurt.
An EEG test may be done:
- As a day procedure (outpatient). See Outpatient EEG Tests (PDF) (Amharic) (Arabic) (Russian) (Simplified Chinese) (Somali) (Spanish) (Vietnamese).
- While your child stays in the hospital for 1 or more nights (inpatient). See Inpatient EEG Tests: Long-Term Video Monitoring on the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) (PDF) (Spanish) (Russian) (Vietnamese) and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Family and Visitor Guidelines (PDF) (Somali) (Spanish) (Vietnamese).
- Using a special recording device for up to 48 hours while your child is at home or school (ambulatory). See Ambulatory EEG Monitoring (PDF) (Somali) (Spanish) (Vietnamese).
These booklets can lessen worry and help you and your child talk about what to expect.
From check-in to discharge, follow the colorful photo story of having an EEG while spending 1 or more nights here at Seattle Children’s.
- What to Expect During Your Inpatient EEG at Seattle Children’s (PDF)
- Qué pasará durante el electroencefalograma (EEG) para pacientes internos en Seattle Children’s (PDF)
This colorful photo story explains how we do the EEG test as a day procedure (without spending a night in the hospital).
Seattle Children's EEG team shows patients and families what to expect when getting an EEG.
Preparing for a CT Scan
Preparing for an MRI Scan
An MRI scan uses a very strong magnet, radio waves and computers to make detailed pictures. This does not hurt, but the machine is noisy.
The test takes 30 to 60 minutes. If your child cannot stay still that long, we will give them medicine to make them sleep (anesthesia). To help know what to expect, read Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Spanish) (PDF).
A child life specialist at Seattle Children’s shows what to expect when getting an MRI scan.
A Seattle Children's child life specialist shows what to expect when getting an MRI with anesthesia.
Preparing to Visit the First Seizure Clinic
At the clinic, we evaluate your child to learn more about the type of seizure, its cause and whether your child may have epilepsy. The information you provide will help us determine if the seizure was caused by a temporary problem like a high fever or is an epileptic seizure.
Preparing for a Visit About Headaches
If your child has an appointment for headaches, bring a list of medicines, supplements, vitamins and minerals you have used for headache treatment, with names and amounts. Please start keeping a record of your child’s headaches right away.
You can keep a record of the headaches using the headache log (PDF) or blank calendar pages below. If you use a blank calendar page, include:
- Time of day
- Description of headache (including pain level)
- What your child was doing before the headache
- Any medicine taken and how it affected your child
Choose the PDF file for the month you need to record:
Preparing for Surgery
Preparing your child and yourselves for surgery may help reduce your family’s stress during this time.
- Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery.
- Patient story: The Softer Side of Surgery, Doctor Designs Personalized Dressings for Patients
Preparing for a Hospital Stay
- See tips on Where to Turn When Preparing for Your Child’s Hospital Stay from social worker Ashley Peters.
- Find out what you need to know about your child’s hospital stay.
- Learn about hospital campus amenities.
Paying for Care
Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.