An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a safe, effective, and painless procedure that creates an image of your child’s brainwaves, giving the doctors and healthcare team at THINK Neurology for Kids the information they need to diagnose certain conditions and determine the best treatment. As specialists in performing and interpreting EEGs, this team of experts does the most pediatric EEGs in the Houston area. To learn more about EEG or to schedule an appointment, call the office in The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Katy, or Austin, Texas, or use the online booking feature.


What is an EEG?

The nerve cells in your brain produce electrical signals or brainwaves. During an electroencephalogram (EEG), small electrodes placed on your child’s scalp detect this electrical activity. The electrodes send the information to a computer that produces an image of the brainwaves.

Normal brainwaves make a specific pattern on the computer display. A THINK Neurology for Kids doctor compares your child’s EEG to a range of normal patterns to identify unusual brain activity.

When might a child need an EEG?

EEGs frequently diagnose epilepsy and seizure disorders, but they also help identify and guide treatment for other conditions, such as:

  • Brain tumors
  • Headaches
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain dysfunction
  • Brain inflammation (encephalitis)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Behavioral changes
  • Dizziness and fainting

An EEG is also an essential test performed when children have a developmental delay.

What happens during an EEG?

THINK Neurology for Kids offers EEGs at the office or in the comfort of a patient’s home.

The EEG technician measures your child’s head, then uses a washable, non-toxic grease pencil to mark the spots for placement of the small metal electrodes. They don’t need to cut your child’s hair, but the tech cleans each spot before attaching the electrode.

Each electrode is connected to the EEG machine by wires, and each electrode is attached to your child’s scalp with washable, adhesive paste. After they’re all in place, the machine is turned on, and it starts to record brainwaves.

Depending on your child’s age and the purpose of the EEG, they may be asked to perform certain activities during brainwave recording. For example, the technician may ask them to breathe deeply and rapidly or to look at a flickering light.

What might a child feel during an EEG?

Your child feels gentle sensations during spot cleaning and electrode attachment. Otherwise, the procedure is painless, and they won’t feel any sensations during the test.

However, having electrodes placed all over their head can be stressful for young children.

The EEG  doctors and healthcare team at THINK Neurology for Kids works with many children and understand that each has their own sensitivities. They have a special skill for connecting with children, helping them feel safe and comfortable throughout the EEG. The team also works closely with each parent so they can keep the experience stress-free and as pleasant as possible.

How do I prepare my child for an EEG?

The extent of your preparation depends on the type of EEG:

Routine EEG

An EEG requires very little preparation. You only need to wash your child’s hair the night before the test. Don’t apply conditioners or styling products to their hair and leave their hair free-flowing; don’t braid it or pin it up, and their face should also be clear of lotion or makeup.

While your child can eat before their EEG, they should avoid stimulants such as caffeinated beverages and chocolate for eight hours before the test.

Sleep-deprived EEG

Some children need a sleep-deprived EEG to check for abnormal brainwaves that appear when they’re stressed or fatigued. In addition to following the instructions for a routine EEG, you need to get your child up at 3:00 a.m. the morning of the test or keep them awake until 2:00 a.m. The goal is to be sure they’re tired and ready to fall asleep during the test.

If you have any questions about an EEG or you need to schedule an appointment, call THINK Neurology for Kids or use the online booking feature.