Paediatric MRI - Children Under 16: Information for Parents


Your child's doctor has ordered a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan at Melbourne Radiology Clinic.

This information sheet is intended for parents or carers of children under the age of 16 who have been referred for a MRI scan .

A MRI scanner uses a powerful magnet and radiowaves to produce superbly detailed views of the human body, particularly soft tissues, such as the brain, spinal cord and muscles. Unlike many other imaging tests, MRI does not use radiation. Though some discomfort may occur from having to lay still, MRI is otherwise a painless procedure and typically takes approximately 20-30 minutes to perform.

Download PDF - MRI Information Sheet for Parents - Children under 16 Melbourne Radiology Clinic - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Children Under 16 - Information Sheet for Parents

You will also be asked to read and complete a MRI Consent Form & Safety Questionnaire.

MRI Scans for Children under 16 at Melbourne Radiology Clinic

Please read the following information carefully.


Additional Notes for Parents:

Your role:

MRI Contrast Dye (Gadolinium)

Some patients undergoing an MRI scan may require an injection of an intravenous (IV) dye (contrast) known as Gadolinium, which is a paramagnetic substance that is visible on MRI scans. If contrast is required, this will be discussed with you by our MRI Technician and/or radiologist on the day of your appointment.


Once the scan is under way a vibrating or knocking sound can be heard. Noise cancelling head-phones are provided and your child can choose to listen to music or depending on the scan, watch live TV or a DVD of their choice.

It is very important that you encourage your child to keep their body extremely still during the scan. Movement during a scan may result in lower quality or 'blurred' images.

Helpful suggestions:

Encourage your child to lie very still and to stay relaxed during each scan.
Try suggesting the following:
"Pretend you are a statue or asleep..." or "Imagine you are a rag doll..."

Usually four or five different types of MRI scans, called sequences, are taken with each one lasting about 2–8 minutes. Overall, your child will be in the scanner for about 20-30 minutes. A sequence or sequences may need to be repeated if there is blurring of the images due to excessive movement.

You will be in constant communication with the technician who conducts the MRI. Their role is to ensure that your child is comfortable and that you are also kept you up-to-date with the progress of the scans.

As an additional safety mechanism, your child will be provided with a buzzer to hold during the scan. If at anytime your child feels exceedingly uncomfortable or anxious they can press the buzzer to gain the attention of the MRI technician. The scan at this point will be stopped and your child will be immediately removed from the bore of the scanner and attended to by yourself and our staff.

After your child's scan...

A radiologist, a medical doctor specialised in interpreting medical images for the purposes of providing a diagnosis, will then review the images and provide a formal written report. If medically urgent, or if you have an appointment immediately after the scan for your child to be seen by your doctor or health care provider, Melbourne Radiology Clinic will instantly have your results ready. Otherwise, the report will be received by your doctor or health care provider within the next 24 hours.


Whilst every effort is made to keep your appointment time, the special needs of complex cases, elderly and frail patients can cause unexpected delays. Your consideration and patience in these circumstances is appreciated.

Patients will also need to read and complete:
Melbourne Radiology Clinic - MRI Consent Form and Safety Questionnaire