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Preparing Your Child for a COVID-19 Test

Updated August 11, 2021

The child life specialists at Children's Mercy help children cope with the feelings they may have about their illness, injury, disability, or hospitalization. They have created the guide below to help your child understand how a COVID-19 nasal swab test works.

What happens when you come for a COVID-19 test?

You will be going to Children's Mercy for something called a COVID-19 nasal swab or test. This will help the doctors and nurses know if your body has a certain type of germ.

The nurses doing the test will wear special outfits and ask your family questions.

Two nurses in PPE walking from building
This is how the nurses are dressed when they talk with your family.

After talking with your family, the nurses will put a thin cotton swab (also called a nasal swab) inside your nose and move it around for 10 seconds. Most kids say it feels uncomfortable, but it is over very fast.

Nurse in PPE greeting boy in a car
The nurses will tell you what they are going to do before they do anything.
Two nurses in PPE performing a nasal swab test on boy in a car
This is the nasal swab.
Two nurses in PPE performing a nasal swab test on boy in a car
This is how it moves around for 10 seconds on the inside of your nose.

After the nurses remove the nasal swab from your nose, it is put in a tube. Now your test is done, and you and your family can leave. Thank you for getting tested with us!

Gloved hands putting a nasal swab in a tube
This is the nurses putting your nasal swab in a tube.

Questions on how to prepare your child for a test?

If you have questions on how to prepare your child for a COVID-19 nasal swab test, please call the Child Life Education Line at (816) 983-6870 or message “child life messages” on the MyChildrensMercy patient portal.