As the parent of a child needing an MRI, you likely have endless questions and thoughts racing through your mind. These situations often involve a lot of stress and concerns about many things. Of course, the number one concern is usually your child’s safety. Because of that, a common question in parents’ minds regards concerns about whether the MRI itself is safe for the child.
While it might be important to have such concerns about any procedure your child might need to undergo, it is also important to know that MRIs are almost always safe procedures for your child to undergo.
MRI scans utilize very powerful magnetic fields and high-frequency radio waves in order to provide detailed images of various things inside a patient’s body. MRIs provide such detailed pictures by reading energy that is produced by water molecules after they re-align themselves following each pulse of radio waves.
MRIs are mostly used to diagnosis soft tissue injuries. These include injuries involving ligaments, tendons, the spinal cord, the brain, etc.
Why are MRIs safe for children?
MRIs are widely considered to be very safe and easy procedures from a medical standpoint. There have been no health risks associated with neither the magnetic field or the radio waves used in MRIs because they do not use radiation in the process. Additionally, MRI procedures can be repeated multiple times without increased risks or further side effects because, again, there is no type of radiation exposure.
Are there any other risks associated with MRIs?
While there are not any direct health risks for your child undergoing an MRI, there can still be some risks involved. However, these risks result from the possibility of your child having some type of allergic reaction to either a sedative or a dye if they are needed.
As one of the more dreaded aspects of getting an MRI, it is no secret that an MRI can be uncomfortable because the patient needs to remain still for the duration of the exam, which can take anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes. Of course, it is crucial for the patient to remain still even if it is uncomfortable. Since children struggle with this more often than adults, children might be given sedatives to help them sit still through the exam. If your doctor recommends this for your child, be sure to talk with your doctor about your child’s allergies.
Likewise, there is also the risk of complications for your child in the case that the doctors need to use any type of IV contrast or dye for the exam. In some cases, extra contrast is needed for the doctors to be able to accurately examine the injured area. There is a risk of complications, especially if your child struggles with decreased kidney functions, so be sure to talk with your doctor if your child has any struggles with their kidneys.
What is the final conclusion?
At the end of the day, you should not spend too much of your time stressing over concerns about whether MRIs for children are safe. However, like any medical procedure, you should always address any concerns you might have with your doctor for further assessment and assurance. It is always important to bring any information to your doctor’s attention especially regarding allergies and previous medical struggles.