Pediatric MRI

What is it?

Pediatric MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) does not use X-ray radiation. It instead uses a powerful magnetic system to make images of a child's body. It can create dozens or sometimes hundreds of images in a short time. MRIs are useful in diagnoses and can provide information about blood vessels. BayCare makes sure your child is at ease during the procedure. BayCare has a calming environment with staff that understands the needs of a child during a pediatric imaging procedure.

What is it for?

  • To see body parts, organs and tissues of infants, children and young adults
  • Diagnose ear, nose and throat conditions, injuries, vascular problems and musculoskeletal abnormalities

How to prepare

  • You will be given special instructions on what to give your child to eat and drink prior to the exam
  • Talk to your health care provider about your child’s medical history, current medical condition, allergies and any medicine your child is taking
  • Your child can bring a favorite blanket, toy or plush animal/character
  • Make sure your child is not wearing any jewelry or metal on their clothing. To make it easy, children can have their MRI done in their pajamas. We will provide a hospital gown if necessary.


  • An allergic reaction may occur from the use of a contrast material (dye)

What happens during?

  • The procedure takes about 60 minutes. You will be able to stay with your child up until the time the moveable table is positioned in the scanner. You will reunite with your child after the table is moved out of the scanner.
  • Contrast material may need to be used. It is injected in your child’s hand or arm by I.V. The contrast material helps to clearly see specific areas.
  • Your child will lie down on a moveable table that will be positioned into the scanner
  • It will be important for your child to be as still as possible during the procedure to ensure clear images.
  • Your child will always be in contact and communication with the technologist overseeing the procedure
  • Your child will hear loud, clicking noises that sound similar to a washing machine
  • After the scan is complete, the table is moved out from the machine and the I.V. is removed.
  • You’ll be allowed into the MRI room to reunite with your child

What happens after?

  • Your child can resume regular activities after the MRI

More information: