Jack's MRI adventure

Information on MRI scans for young children

Jack is setting off on an MRI adventure to the North Pole of Evelina London Children's Hospital.


This is a story about Jack

Today, Jack is going to Evelina London Children's Hospital.  

Jack's special picture


Jack is visiting Evelina to have a special picture taken. This picture is called an MRI scan.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and it uses a strong magnet to take pictures.

The MRI department is on the arctic floor, so Jack will see lots of arctic animals while he is here.

Jack meets the person who will take the special pictures. She is called a radiographer. The radiographer is going to use a big machine to take Jack's picture.

MRI machine at Evelina London

It looks like a tunnel and makes lots of noise. It will take special pictures of inside Jack's body.

These pictures will help the doctors to find out why Jack is unwell. It won't hurt. 

The MRI checklist

The radiographer asks Jack's mum and dad some questions to make sure it is all right to take Jack's picture.


Metal will spoil Jack's pictures so the radiographer asks Jack to take off any metal, like zips on trousers or buckles on shoes. 

This is because the metal will spoil the pictures. 

Some children may have to change into a gown.

Jack practices lying still

Jack preparing for an MRI with a play specialist.

Jack meets the play specialists – they help him prepare for the scan.

Jack practices lying still in a play tunnel. He is listening to a CD of the noises the scanner is going to make when he has his pictures taken. 

Not everyone meets the play specialists. If you meet them, you do the same as Jack, or you may just chat about what will happen during your scan.  

Listen to the noises Jack will hear during his scan!

MRI sounds one


MRI sounds two


MRI sounds three


MRI sounds four


Jack in MRI machine with his dad

Jack goes into the MRI room so the radiographer can take his picture.

She asks Jack to lie on a bed. This is a special table that moves.

Jack is having pictures taken of his head, so he wears a 'special helmet' when he is inside the scanner. 

Jack has to wear headphones

Jack also puts on headphones because the machine will make a loud banging noise. Sometimes this makes the bed vibrate.

Boy with headphones going into MRI

Jack has brought his own music with him so he can listen to it while the pictures are taken.

Jack's dad stays with Jack while the radiographer takes his picture. Jack's dad has to wear headphones too.

Jack lies nice and still for the pictures. It is very important to lie still so that the pictures are not blurred.

The radiographer talks to Jack through a microphone while looking at his pictures on a computer screen.

It takes 20-40 minutes to take the pictures.

When the pictures are finished Jack goes home or back to the children's ward with his mum and dad.  

Goodbye and well done Jack

Jack holding his certificate at Evelina London

After Jack has left, the doctors look at his pictures. Mum and dad will get the results later.

Jack had a picture taken of his head, but you may have a picture taken of any part of your body.

See what MRI pictures look like

More information

Print a copy of Jack's MRI scan (PDF 875kb) – a photo story for children up to 10 years old.