Whether it’s feeling less closed in or experiencing faster results in some cases, there are many wonderful benefits associated with an open MRI. Even so, some children may be a bit apprehensive about having this type of test performed. Fortunately, another benefit of an MRI performed in an open space is the options parents have to help keep their child calm and relax as the test is performed.
1. Bring Comfort Items
Because of the nature of an open MRI, there’s usually no reason why a child can’t have a comfort item like a stuffed animal with them during the test. Other children may be comforted by a blanket or a favorite toy. Just check with the facility ahead of time to make sure any comfort items you are considering bringing for your child are permitted.
2. Hold Their Hand and Have a Conversation
Because a child won’t be in an enclosed space during the test, one or both parents can usually be in the same room as the test is performed. This means you should be able to hold your child’s hand. There is also a need to remain still during the test, so it can help to engage in a conversation about things like what you’ll do together after the test or fun things going on in their life to keep them calm and still. If your child does have a moment of anxiousness, reassure them and continue to have a pleasant conversation as the test continues.
3. Let Them Listen to Music or Sing
When children are being tested, many imaging centers are willing to be as flexible as possible. If you are allowed to do so, bring either a music player or a portable device with headphones that your child can listen to during the test. If this isn’t an option, sing a fun song with your child. While doing so, hold their hand and remind them to remain still.
The extent to which parents can be involved with an open MRI is much greater than what can normally be done with a standard MRI. The process can be even smoother if the test is explained to the child in a way they can understand. There are usually friendly staff members who can lend a hand with this task.