How to Prepare Your Child for a Medical Scan
Parents often worry about how to prepare children for an MRI. However, several things can be done to make the experience as easy as possible for everyone involved.
The most important part of preparing your child for a medical scan is letting them know what will happen. It’s important to be specific and clear about what they will have to do and why it will happen. A detailed explanation is even better if you can include an illustration or some physical item that will show your child what they’ll see during the procedure.
After telling your child what will happen, it’s also helpful to brainstorm some ideas for how they can keep busy while waiting in the scanning room or other waiting areas such as the lobby, car, or family room at your doctor’s office.
Explain What an MRI is to your child
Talk to them about what MRI is all about and why they need it. Prepare to answer questions that they may ask, like what it stands for and what they should expect. You can explain that MRI stands for – Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a type of medical imaging that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce pictures of the body and its organs. MRI is painless and harmless to patients, and it is often used on children. Assure them that everything’s going to be okay, and if in any way they feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to tell the doctors about how they feel, and it’s okay to cry.
Please find the best time to discuss their upcoming MRI with your child. Some older children may not want to learn more about the procedure, so be careful not to overload them with information. You can speak to them a few weeks before the appointment. On the other hand, if you have younger children, it’s best to talk to them on the way to the appointment to prevent unnecessary anxiety. Being open about the upcoming procedure is a good way to introduce the procedure and ensure they’re mentally prepared.
Practice MRI scans at home with your child
For younger children, during playtime, you can act out how the test would play out. For example, you can lie down on the couch and stay still while using sound clips to mimic how the MRI scan could be done. Explain that they can hear loud noises when the machine is taking pictures, but they won’t feel any pain. Practice them lying still so that when the day of the appointment comes, the length of the test can be shortened. Tell them that the procedure lasts for 30-45 minutes, but they can get the test done in as fast as 15 minutes as long as they stay still.
Comfort your child during their MRI
It can be a scary experience for children to go through any medical procedure or emergency. Parents are usually the ones who comfort them during this process. For parents, it is important to build trust with their child before doing anything else.
Parents should not worry too much about the MRI or what might happen to their children during it. Parents should focus on helping them feel safe and loved instead of letting the fear consume them. It’s important to let your children know that you are there for them and you won’t let anything bad happen to them.
In conclusion, talking and playing through the MRI procedure is a good way for children and parents to prepare for an upcoming MRI exam. By following these steps, children and adults can feel mentally prepared and ready for the MRI.