Radiology Try It Program

MRI without sedation that includes a "Trip to the Beach"

Radiology Try It Program - Mock Scanner CHOP’s Radiology Department, in collaboration with the Child Life Department, has launched a new “Try It” program to encourage more children to try to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without the need for anesthesia or sedation.

The program uses the comforting support of Child Life services to give patients the chance to practice holding still while lying on a mock scanner in the Children's Seashore House. By watching calming beach images, patients relax and learn to remain still, ensuring we can get crisp diagnostic images to help guide treatment decisions.

What is an MRI?

MRI is a diagnostic procedure that uses a powerful magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce images of a child’s organs and structures.  Patients lie on a special table that is moved in and out of a big circle that looks like a doughnut for the imaging test. It’s important for patients to lie still during the test to get accurate images that can guide treatment.

What are the benefits of MRI without sedation?

  • No risks from anesthesia
  • Your child can eat and drink the day of the MRI
  • Less anxiety and fear of the procedure
  • Shorter post-test recovery time and quicker discharge

Completing the MRI without sedation can be treated as an accomplishment, allowing patients and their families to get back to their busy lives faster.

Who should be considered for the “Try It” program:

  • Patients aged 5 or older
  • Those receiving a non-contrast exam
  • Patients who only need one area of the body imaged
  • “Try It” should still be considered if parents are unsure if the child can do the test without sedation!

“Try It” is NOT appropriate for patients who are:

  • Aged 4 or younger
  • Require monitoring
  • In need of respiratory isolation
  • Need a contrast exam

Learn more

If you believe the “Try It” program may be appropriate for your child – or have questions – please contact us at or call 215-590-7000.