At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we understand that undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be scary for children. We are also committed to avoiding anesthesia if possible. Our solution is to evaluate each patient for the potential to have an MRI without anesthesia and to have our dedicated radiology child life specialists assess and prepare young patients (and others whose conditions may require extra help) with the help of a mock MRI.

Our MRI mock scanners simulate the real MRI experience, including the noises the camera makes throughout the scan. The mock scanner is a useful tool to see how a patient will handle the MRI and demonstrate to the child what they will experience. If the child is allowed to watch a video or listen to music during their scan, the mock scanner can simulate these options as well.

In most cases, patients are assessed by a child life specialist prior to their scheduled MRI appointment. They will then arrange the visit to a mock scanner. Mock scanners are at the University City hospital, King of Prussia Specialty Care Center, and Center for Autism Research in the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research.

At, there’s a cartoon parents can play for their kids before the test, and at there is a link to play the sounds an MRI makes so children can get them used to them.