Are MRI Scans Safe For Children?

Are MRI scans safe for children? Your child’s doctor would never recommend a procedure that could be harmful to your child. So, yes, MRI scans are safe for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Radiology both agree. However, there is a necessary screening process for certain devices that might be implanted in your child’s body.

child having an MRI scan

What Is An MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a procedure that uses a large magnet, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of your child’s body that show up on the computer. The problems could be with organs, bones, an injury, infection, or growth. An MRI is able to diagnose many medical issues, and it was created as a tool instead of surgery to locate problems. An MRI does not use radiation.

It is non-invasive and painless. Many times an MRI can produce clear pictures of the body not able to be seen by an X-ray, CT scan, or an ultrasound.

Precautions Taken Prior To A Child’s MRI

The only risks involved in an MRI is if there is an implanted metal object or device in the body. It can cause the device to malfunction.

If your child has a pacemaker, aneurysm clip, an implanted valve to replace a damaged heart valve, or a cochlear implant to treat hearing loss, they will not be approved for an MRI.

Sometimes certain devices may be approved, and if so, parents need to bring the following information:

  • Name of manufacturer
  • Date of placement
  • Name of device and composition

Discuss with Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center about any implants.

Preparing Your Child And Other Risks

Your child will need to stay still while the test is performed. If they have any issues with claustrophobia, a sedative may be given so they will remain calm and motionless.

Sometimes a contrast dye is needed to highlight certain areas of the body. If there is any chance of an allergic reaction to the agent, the staff will provide meds to prevent this.

Explain as best you can what will happen during the test: the noise of banging or knocking, remaining still throughout, what the tube will look like.

Trust the doctors and technologists to walk you and your child through the procedure.

Contact Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at (214) 345-6905 if you have further questions about whether MRI scans are safe for children.