What is an MRI?

MRI image of the brain

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging technique that uses a powerful magnet to take pictures of internal organs. MRI is painless and very safe.

On your first visit, your child will get a chance to see what an MRI scan is like, using our mock MRI scanner, which looks and sounds just like the real one. The mock MRI will help your child practice lying very still, so that when it’s time for the real MRI, we can capture a clear picture of your child’s brain. During the mock MRI scan, your child can play games or watch a movie.

On your child’s second visit, we will do the real MRI. Your child will lie still on his or her back on a table that slides into a cylindrical scanner. The scanner makes loud noises, so we will give your child ear plugs to block out the noise. Your child can play games, or watch a movie or TV show during the scan.

Because MRI uses magnets, metal is not permitted in the MRI room. Please make sure your child is not wearing any metal, such as jewelry, hairpins, zippers, etc. If your child has braces, implants, or any other metal that cannot be removed, please notify our staff.

We will monitor your child while he or she is in the scanner. Our staff and your family can watch your child on a special television screen, and we can also talk to him or her through a microphone. Your child will be handed a special button inside the scanner that can be squeezed in case of an emergency.

Preparing for an MRI