Pediatric Swallow Studies

Pediatric Rehabilitation

Pediatric Swallow Studies

UW Health's pediatric speech therapists in Madison, Wisconsin, may use pediatric swallow studies as part of your child's treatment plan.

About Pediatric Swallow Studies

Swallow studies take place in the American Family Children’s Hospital on the first floor in the Radiology Pavilion, near the Guest Depot.

A speech pathologist and radiologist will complete the study.

During the Swallow Study

  • A family member or caregiver is encouraged to stay in the x-ray room to make it easier for the child.
  • You can bring toys that make the child feel comfortable.
  • The swallow study uses x-ray. Caregivers who are pregnant and siblings cannot be in the room with the child/patient. If you are in this situation, another person who is familiar with the child should also come to the study to be with the child during the active x-ray portion of the study.

Instructions to Parents

  • Your child should be hungry and thirsty for the swallow study. Usually withholding a meal about two to three hours before they arrive is long enough.
  • If your child is also having an upper GI/esophagram study, they cannot eat or drink for at least four hours before the test.
  • Medications should be given at their regularly schedule times, unless your doctor suggests otherwise.
  • Bring a typical meal for your child. Depending on your child’s age and feeding experience, the meal may include a sampling of:
    1. A typical amount of formula/milk/juice that your child takes at a feeding/meal.
    2. Foods your child typically eats, so our team can look at different consistencies/textures of food your child eats.
    3. A food that your child has difficulty with, if appropriate.
    4. Feeding equipment your child uses, such as pacifiers, bottles, nipples, cups, spoons, straws, thickeners for liquids.