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Preparing your child for an EEG

To help receive the best test results, please sleep deprive your child by keeping him or her up until midnight and then wake the child up at 4 am. Having the child actually fall asleep during the procedure produces the best test results.

To help make the experience a little less frightening, feel free to bring:
  • Favorite blanket/stuffed animal or toy
  • Bottle with milk or sippy cup with juice
  • Pacifier
  • iPad/tablet/phone (To use while the technologist prepares your child for the procedure)
The child may eat breakfast as normal, just make sure the meal does not include any caffeine (soda/chocolate/coffee, etc.) Any medications may be taken as normal, unless otherwise instructed by the referring doctor. Please note: If your child is running a fever or is contagious, please call Centralized Scheduling to reschedule the appointment at (217) 544-6464 ext. 76565.

The test itself can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours - depending upon cooperation of the child and type of study ordered. The EEG test is not painful and parents may stay with their child during the procedure. 

The EEG technologist will make markings on your child’s scalp with a red or blue (washable) skin crayon. The technologist will then clean the marked areas and place small suction cups (electrodes) connected to thin, colorful wires on the marked areas. A special paste is used to keep the electrodes in place. (If the child is uncooperative or moving around a lot, the technologist(s) may use a special glue to apply the electrodes.)

During the recording, older children may be asked to breathe deeply through their mouth for two to three minutes and to also open and close their eyes. The child also gets to look at a flashing strobe light during the recording.

Parents with additional questions are encouraged to call the EEG department (217) 544-6464 extension 47590 between 8 am - 4 pm.