What is an EEG?

Today you will be having a test called an EEG.EEG stands for electroencephalogram, which isa test that measures brain wave activity. Thebrain waves are messages that tells your bodywhat to do. The test records the waves for thedoctor to see how your brain sends messages toyour body.

This webpage will show you what to expect for yourEEG test.

For your test, you will come to the Children's Hospital Outpatient Center.When you enter the building, you will take the elevators to the 3rd floor-Pediatric Neurology and check in at the desk.

There are many things to do in the waiting area while you wait for your test.

When it is time for your appointment, you will be greeted by an EEG staff person. They will take you down a hallway to the room where you will have the EEG test. If you have to use the restroom, now would be a great time to go before the test.

Meet Our Staff!


Kristen has been working in the field for over 20 years. One of her favorite parts about the job is getting to know the patients and families. She tries to make the experience as comfortable as possible for the patients.


Doug has also been in the field for over 20 years. Being a “big kid at heart,” he understands the need to educate and support children and their families. He aims to make the experience a good one.

This is what your room may look like. You will lie in the bed while you are having the test. There is a camera on the wall that will be used during the test. The chairs are for your caregivers to sit in while you have your test. The room also has a TV in it for you to bring your favorite DVD to watch.

First, you will get on the bed and the technician will measure your head with a tape measure. There are different colored caps the technicians use, so we measure your head to decide which one will fit you best!

The EEG technicians will place the cap on your head and a cloth strap under your chin. While they are doing this, you can look at a book, watch TV, play on an iPad, or look at a toy that is in the room.

The technician will use a Q- tip to gently clean the holes of the white circles. They will use a light bluish-green lotion to clean. Some kids say the lotion feels gritty on their head as they are cleaning, but it does not hurt.

As they are cleaning the holes, the technician will place a small blue gel in each of the holes on the cap.

This is what the small blue gel looks like. It feels sticky and fits in each of the holes on the cap.

There are two different kinds of stickers the technicians will use. The bigger one is for your chest to see how well your heart is beating. The smaller one is placed on both sides of your eyes to help see how they move during the test. You can still watch TV, play on an iPad, or look at a toy as they place the stickers.

The technicians will use a soft cloth/gauze to wrap your head to make sure everything stays in place.

It is very important to make sure you do not pull on the soft cloth/gauze or cap. It needs to stay on during the test.

Once everything is set up, the technician will turn down the lights in the room. Your caregiver can stay with you the entire time and lie down with you in the bed.

For your EEG test, the technicians may have you do the blowing and light test. For the blowing test, it is your job to blow on the pin wheel as long as you can. For the light test, your job is to look at the bright, flashing light. Both of these tests take about as long as your favorite song on the radio.

The technicians will be able to watch you through the window and the small camera in the room during the test.

During the test, this is what the technicians will see on their computer screens. This information will allow the doctor to see the brain wave activity.

When the test is complete, the technician will take off the soft cloth/gauze, the stickers, gels, and cap. The cap slides right off once the soft cloth/gauze is removed. They will make sure to clean off the extra lotion that may still be on you head. Your head may be a little sticky from the gel and lotion.

Once the test is complete, you can pick a prize and go home!

How Can I Help My Child?

It is not unusual for your child to be afraid of medical procedures. Children can bring items from home such as their favorite DVD, blanket, pillow or stuffed animal for the test to give them a sense of support and comfort. Child life specialists are available to help ease your child's fears by focusing his or her attention on something fun and relaxing.

Here is a list of coping techniques that have been successful for children based on developmental level:

Infant: 1-3 years old

  • Singing lullabies or playing music
  • Comfort item from home: (blanket or stuffed animal)
  • Hold and comfort child during EEG test
  • Toys that make sounds (rattle, plastic keys)

Toddler/Preschool: 3-5 years old

  • Play child's favorite show or DVD on TV in room
  • Focus attention on something else (pinwheel, water toy, bubbles)
  • Read sound books, pop-up books, and counting books
  • Comfort item from home (blanket, stuffed animal)

School-Age: 6-12 years old

  • Play hand-held, iPad, or cell phone games
  • Listen to favorite music
  • Squeeze stress ball or hold someone's hand
  • Play child's favorite show or DVD on TV in room

Adolescent: 12-18 years old

  • Play hand-held, iPad, or cell phone games
  • Listen to favorite music
  • Squeeze stress ball or hold someone's hand
  • Talk about favorite activities or hobbies