Getting an MRI: A Cartoon for Kids

This child-friendly video cartoon created by child life specialists can help prepare your child for having an MRI. Your child will learn what to expect during an MRI scan from the point of view of a child who had an MRI at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She talks about what the MRI machine looks like, the MRI technologist who helped her, the noise from the MRI machine, and more.


Getting an MRI: A Cartoon for Kids

Jamir: Now, three turns to the left, a little more, a little more

Jenny: Hey Jamir, whatcha doing?

Jamir: Hey Jenny, you scared me.

Jenny: Oh, sorry. Uh, is that a hand mixer? Whatcha working on?

Jamir: Only the coolest invention ever. It's a camera that can take pictures of what's inside people’s bodies even their bones and brain and stuff. Pretty cool huh?

Jenny: Uh, yeah, kinda like an MRI.

Jamir: A what?

Jenny: An MRI. There's one right here in Philly over at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I had an MRI last year when I fell off my bike and bumped my head. I wasn't wearing my helmet; I'll never do that again. I remember my MRI like it was yesterday.

I went to my doctor after I bumped my head. He said to get an MRI just to be safe so we went to CHOP. Then I met the MRI technologist, Brian, who would be taking my pictures. He was way cool and so nice.

Brian: Hey Jenny, we're all set up. You’re ready to go?

Jenny: Mom waited for me in the waiting room. I told her not to worry but you know how moms are. Brian showed me the control room.

Jamir: Control room? Like on a starship?

Jenny: Um, kind of. Anyway, there's all these really cool computers that show pictures taken from the MRI. There's even a metal detector.

Jamir: What's that for?

Jenny: Well, there's a magnet inside the MRI camera that helps to take the pictures; really high-tech stuff. So you have to make sure you take off any metal objects on your body like earrings and stuff.

Jamir: Cool.

Jenny: I know, right?  Well, then we went into the room with the MRI camera. This thing was huge. I had to climb up and lay down on this bed which slides into a tunnel. Brian told me it was important for me to lie still so the pictures wouldn't come out blurry. Because the bed moved, I had to wear a seatbelt to keep me safe. Oh, and there are these cushions for my head and this thing called a coil that helps the camera focus on my body part that's taking pictures of. Mine kind of looked like a football helmet.

Jamir: Football helmet?  [laughing].

Jenny: Follow me, would ya? The machine makes some strange noises and they get a little loud. So they give you earplugs. It sort of sounds like you're at a construction site.

Jamir: Wow, were you scared being alone in that thing?

Jenny: Nah, because you're not really alone. The technologist can see you the whole time through the window in the control room. You can even talk to each other through a microphone set up in the camera.

Brian: Hey, you're doing great, Jenny.

Jenny: But it's really important to be as still as you can so they can get the clearest pictures they can. I just closed my eyes and imagined myself in a float in the clear blue waters, like I'm on vacation.

Jamir: Wow, that sounds really cool! I guess I gotta think of a new invention.

Jamir and Jenny:  [laughing]

Jamir's mom: Jamir, honey, have you seen my hand mixer?

Jamir: Do you wanna ride bikes?

Jenny: Sure, and I even got my helmet.

Topics Covered: MRI for Children Diagnostic Imaging

Related Centers and Programs: Department of Radiology, Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy