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How to Prepare My Child for an MRI?

How to Prepare My Child for an MRI?
How to Prepare My Child for an MRI?

Bumps and bruises are a normal part of childhood for energetic and active kids. Occasionally, if your child is injured or not feeling well, an MRI may be recommended to fully evaluate the condition. Being in the unfamiliar setting of the MRI room can make the child a bit anxious. Here’s how to prepare your child for an MRI:

  • Describe what the MRI is in simple language. Tell your child that it’s a special kind of camera that looks like a big donut or a spaceship that is used to take pictures of the inside of the body and that it’s totally harmless.
  • Try to make it a game to be super still. Explain to the child that just like with a regular camera, the images will be blurry if the child move during the procedure. However, they need to stay still for 15-20 minutes. Perhaps you can practice lying still at home with your child.
  • Let the child know about what to expect during the procedure. Explain that there will be noises made by the machine while taking the pictures and the child will be provided with ear plugs that they must wear as instructed so their ears are protected. Encourage the child to ask questions and be sure to check with the doctor if you don’t know some of the answers yourself.
  • Carry your child’s favorite blanket or stuffed toy. Children are generally allowed to bring their comforting objects as long as they DO NOT contain ANY metal inside them.
  • Let the child know that you will always be close by. In most instances, you will be allowed to stay with your child during the procedure after you have an MRI Safety interview. If not, show your child the adjacent room where you will be waiting and tell them that you will be watching the procedure the whole time.
  • Some children are not able to stay still because they do not understand or are too young. In general children under 10 have a difficult time staying still enough for Houston MRI® to do the exam causing the pictures to be blurry and not diagnostic. These children unfortunately have to go to the hospital so that they can be sedated so that the pictures are not blurry.

Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide the patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.