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MRI Scans in children

Josh is having an MRI scan in a week of his pituitary gland. As far as I can tell they offer to play a DVD but no DVD's or anything. I am struggling to find a way to explain it him without scaring him, the only stuff I can find online is from places like GOS which is of course a very child friendly MRI scanner. He will either take it in his stride or completley freak I would prefer to at least give him some warning. Having just had yet another MRI recently I had forgotten how close it all is and how noisy. Josh is 16 but is on the autistic spectrum with learning difficulties hence my worry about how he will re-act to the scan. He is Ok with the needle in his hand for the dye, I have told him about that and that he is having a scan just not quite what it involves.


7 Replies



My son Jason had to have brain scans when he was 7.

Had nasty fall ,another scan for a different problem 3 HOUR Scan as the problem was bad and injection and in again with a metal case over his head.

Yes they can have music and nice take a favorite.

Also you can sit by the scanner and hold on to their hand for reassurance all the time.

Their is alot of banging and hope this has helped a little .

love Glynis xxx

ps normal scan around 20 mins

( Could not believe how brave my son was,I stayed with him all the time holding his hand.My hubby and dad wanted take over as I got upset but I would not leave him)


Hello Bex,

I have had a couple of MRI Scans back in 2001-2002 (For a back problem) - They played some soothing Clannad music as far as I remember, though I was only in there for 10 minutes or so.

I am sure you can take a CD in of his choice, perhaps not heavy rock incase he likes dancing!

Perhaps you can ask is he can lie in there for a minute or two before they do the scan.

Also ask if they can make a recording of the noise it makes and play that to him so he knows what to expect noise wise. (Perhaps heavy metal may be OK to mask the noise)

There are no needles involved as dye is usually used for CT scanning, just padding and perhaps the metal frame over the head.

Also, I wouldn't have thought they would let anyone else in the room itself as MRI is Magnetic Resonance imaging and gains the image with strong magnets - realighns body tissue so it can be imaged digitally or something. Strong magnets are involved and any loose metal can affect it so you would probably have to strip off to a gown too! No metal! I may be wrong here if it has modernised recently.

Perhaps you can chat to Radiology team and ask if they have a paediatric protocol or nurse to advise.

Hope this is useful .......



Thanks for that, Josh will be having contrast dye in fact when I had an MRI recently they wanted to use contrast but a) could not find a vein and b) could not use my port because the needle would have to remain in during the scan and the needle is metal. He has watched an episode of scrubs with an MRI scanner in it and is pretty laid back about it bless him, I have explain the loud noise and how small the thing is and that he will have something to hold his head still. I also said he will have something that he can squeeze and they will stop straight away. Considering we also have had to decide which injector he would use for his daily growth hormone treatment today he has been a real star, he said to me ""poo happens but we just get a bigger shovel and deal with it"" actually he did not say poo he said s with a hit after it :) What a great attitude I am so proud of him.



Oh, sorry, didn't realsied they used dye with MRI as well!




not sure if this is helpful, it is from GOSH but does have the sounds from the MRI machine, also the related videos might be helpful


Hi my Son Matty who is 9 had 1 this year and has mild autism and is very sensitive to sound, so like you I didn't know what to expect. Is there any family member who has had 1 who could explain and put his mind at rest? my hubby had 1 so that helped and the nurse was just so fantastic.Just before the scan, they talked him through what everything did and showed him all round the equipment first and what it would show and what noises it would make, by then he couldn't wait to get in it!

Good luck



I had one 2 weeks ago so I have been able to describe pretty vividly what it was like, as I lay there I was thinking I must remember all this because I can tell Josh all about it. His dad will be able to go in with him if he gets freaked, I can't because of the wheelchair :(

Many thanks for the replies and links we are well prepared, I will let you know how we get on.



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