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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.


Jack's MRI adventure – video transcript

This is the Evelina Children's Hospital where Jack has come to have an MRI scan. MRI stands for 'magnetic resonance imaging' and that means taking pictures of what Jack looks like inside!

Jack's Mum: Hello there, we've come for an MRI scan. Where do we need to go to please?

Receptionist: MRI is on the Arctic Level. Take the lift up to the first floor

Jack's Mum: thank you, come on then Jack.

Each floor of the hospital is named after a different part of the Earth. And downstairs, the Ocean Level, is like a big playground!

Jack's Mum: look Jack, the lift's here. You can press the floor number here

Jack: we went up in the lift. It was like a rocket!

Jack has to go up to the Arctic Level, this is where the MRI scanner is in an area called the North Pole.

Jack's Mum: there we go, we need to go that way. Hello there, my son Jack has got an MRI appointment.

Receptionist: if you'd just like to take seat over there, I'll call them and let them know you're here

Jack's Mum: OK then, do you want to go and play Jack?

Soon it's Jack's turn. First he meets the radiographer who'll take the MRI pictures.

Radiographer: hello, is Jack here?

Jack: we met a lady who took us to the North Pole. There were lots of animals on the walls. Some of the animals even move!

Radiographer: now then, an MRI scanner has a very strong magnet so before you and Jack go into the room. I need you to fill in one of these questionnaires. That'll take a few minutes, then I'll come back and check it for you. They make quite sure the MRI is safe for Jack.

Radiographer: I'll just double check Jack - you haven't got a pacemaker?! No! You've not had any operations on your head? Or on your heart? And no metal work in your body? No, lovely. And Mum you're the same?

Jack's Mum: Yes, all clear.

Radiographer: do you want to come through then? Come and have a look at my machine. Because the MRI is a giant magnet, you can't take anything metal inside.

Jack: I put my metal toys in the locker, then the lady said she would take my picture.

Jack's Mum: I've got to take my metal things off too Jack.

Radiographer: have you got a watch on?

Jack's Mum: I have, yes.

Radiographer: if you look through the machine there Jack, you can see the film playing at the back, and all you need to do is just lie on the bed. Jack: I had to lie on the bed and not move.

Radiographer: OK? I'm going to raise the bed up in the air. I'm just going to shuffle you up the bed a little bit. Now I'm going to pop some headphones on you so that you can listen to the film as well as see it. I'm going to pull this special helmet down over your head. This helps us to get really nice pictures. I'm going to put some little cushions in to help you keep nice and still. Mum, I'm going to give you this buzzer if he looks worried or a bit uncomfortable, just give that a squeeze. OK Jack, I'm going to move you into the machine now, you need to keep very still. I'll talk to you through those headphones as we go along and tell you what's happening. You OK there? Mummy's sitting right here beside you.

Jack: I kept still for half an hour while they took the pictures. Are you OK in there Jack?

Jack: Yes.

Radiographer: Good boy, keep nice and still, the next scan's about to start.

Jack's having his head scanned, but you might have pictures taken of any part of your body!

Radiographer: now, because you did so well, I've got a special sticker for you, shall I put that on your shirt? And also a special certificate - not everybody gets one of these, but that's because you did so well and kept nice and still.

Jack's Mum: what do you say Jack?

Jack: thank you.

Jack's Mum: that was alright wasn't it Jack, wasn't too bad? We'll go and see the doctor soon and get all the results.


You can watch the rest of his adventure when you come for your appointment. You can also read about Jack's adventure below.

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.


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 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 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.


Jack has bought a CD with him so he can listen to music while the pictures are taken. Sometimes it is possible to watch a DVD when you have a scan, so please bring this with you too.

Jack's mum stays with Jack while the radiographer takes his picture. Jack's mum 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


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.

©  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
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