In this section
ultrasound scan uses sound waves (that the human ear cannot hear) to form
images of the inside of the body. The examination is performed by a Sonographer
(someone who is trained in ultrasound scanning) and varies in time depending on
the region being scanned – usually about half an hour. There
is no ionizing radiation (e.g. X-rays) used in Ultrasound.
examinations can be performed on many parts of the body and are performed for
different reasons, for example to:
Preparing your child for
For some ideas on how to
prepare your child for the procedure, and tips on distracting them and helping
them stay calm during the procedure, see our fact sheet Reducing your child's discomfort
be helpful to your child if the procedure is explained to
them before they come in for their
important. Explain that:
Most children can
watch TV or a movie while having their scans, and you are
welcome to bring in your child's favourite toy, electronic
device or book to keep your child occupied and distracted during the
staff from Child
may also be of benefit for your child. The Child Life Therapist engages
families in imaging-specific education and medical play, as well as providing
distraction and support during procedures. Appointments for Child Life
Therapist support can be made in advance via Medical Imaging or your referring
is very important to make sure you follow the preparation instructions on your
child’s appointment letter, even if you have had an ultrasound before. The
preparation required differs depending on which part of the body is being examined.
you have any questions about fasting, drinking fluids, or any other instructions
please call RCH Medical Imaging on 03 9345 6780.
all examinations, a family member or carer is encouraged to stay with your
child to help them feel comfortable about the procedure and to help them to
keep still. The scan is performed with your child lying on an examination bed and
either on their back, side or stomach. Your child may need to remove some
clothing depending on the area of the body that is being scanned.
Sonographer will place the ultrasound camera on the skin. Special ultrasound
gel is used to help the camera slide across the skin. Many images are taken in
different locations and positions.
A report will be prepared by the Radiologist and sent
to the referring doctor. The report is often available within a few days but
can be received earlier if required. If you have any questions about why your
child needs an Ultrasound, or questions about the results of your scan, please
speak to your doctor.
your doctor or the Ultrasound staff
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Medical Imaging department. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed November 2018.
This information is awaiting routine review. Please always seek the most recent advice from a registered and practising clinician.
Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.