Going to the doctor can be scary enough for young children. So the idea of an X-Ray or MRI may prove particularly stressful. You see sophisticated equipment that can help identify risks to your child’s health. Your child, however, may simply see a big machine with laser-like lights strong enough to see through their skin and bones. Their perception of what it’s like to get an x-ray or MRI can be intimidating.

To help ease your child’s fears – and perhaps even make the experience a fun one – here are a few tips from Capitol Imaging Services:

  • First, explain the process of an x-ray or MRI to your child in simple terms. It’s best to do this shortly before the exam for younger children because they have shorter attention spans. Older children and teens will appreciate being given more time to understand and prepare themselves for the exam. They’ll likely want to search the Internet for information and feel that they are taking some charge of their own health.
  • For younger children, role playing the process with a favorite doll or stuffed animal can help make the experience seem fun. Adding that element of fun can be incredibly comforting.
  • Assure your child that getting an x-ray or MRI will not hurt. An injection of IV contrast may be administered if your child is getting an MRI. You can explain that contrast is a little like Easter egg or T-shirt dye and it helps make the pictures brighter and easier for the doctor to see what’s going on inside your child’s body.
  • Also explain that the knocking sound she hears during the MRI simply means that the machine is clicking away the pictures. Some children worry that the sound means the machine is broken.
  • Encourage your child to speak up if she has any questions or concerns. Let her know that it’s okay to talk with the doctor herself – and be sure you choose a doctor who has a warm and comforting bedside manner. Most of all, make sure your child understands that getting an x-ray or MRI doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong – it’s just a check to help make sure that her body stays healthy and happy.
  • Plan a reward for your child afterward, such as a trip to the ice cream shop, the play park or a movie. This will encourage her to be cooperative and feel proud that she helped the doctor and contributed to her good health.

At Capitol Imaging Services, we perform common and specialty exams on people of all ages – and we do it with care, compassion and precision. Our goal is for every person, no matter how old they are, to experience a warm welcome, have as pleasant an experience as possible, and extend to them a sincere thank you for visiting us.

Choose Capitol Imaging Services: doctor trusted and patient preferred.

Image used under license from freestock.com