Is It Safe For Children To Get An MRI?
While MRI's are an important imaging scan, they can be intimidating to many. It's noisy sounds and lengthy time often has patient worried. Specifically, pediatric MRI can be worrisome for parents who are unsure if this scan is safe for their child.
So, is it safe for my child to undergo an MRI?
First of all, it is uncomfortable.
As mentioned, some adults are uncomfortable in MRIs, so children, of course, can be too, possibly even more so. The procedure itself requires the patient to lay still for an extended period of time, so this makes it difficult for children to cooperate because they tend to be more restless. On top of that, MRIs can induce a feeling of claustrophobia, which can make children even more antsy and uncomfortable. Additionally, the patient may be asked to wear a loose gown during the procedure, so children who aren't comfortable with their growing bodies could feel even more out of place.
Second of all, there are exceptions.
Sometimes MRI procedures require children to get an injection of contrast material so the images are more clear, but if your child has an allergy of any kind (especially to contrast material or iodine), they may not be able to receive the injection. If the child recently had a surgery or had (/has) kidney issues, then they most likely can't receive the contrast injection either. It's definitely something to talk to the child's doctor about.
Also, if your child has any implanted medical or electronic devices, they could be at risk for disrupting the MRI magnets. Children (and people in general) with cochlear (ear) implants, some types of clips used for brain aneurysms, some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels, and nearly any cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers should not be scanned in an MRI procedure nor should they enter the scanning area.
If you're concerned about your child undergoing an MRI, reach out to our center for advice and assistance when booking your appointment. Our patients comfort is our main priority at Carlsbad Open MRI, especially when considering our younger patients. If you're still concerned, you can accompany your child into the exam and comfort them during their scan time.