Pediatric Imaging

Kinder, Gentler Pediatric Imaging

Pediatric imaging is simply imaging for children. If you have children, you know that kids can find medical facilities and procedures scary. Most hospitals are designed for efficiency rather than comfort, especially when it comes to children. Conversely, children and their parents prefer having their imaging done at DCA because it is a comfortable, patient-friendly environment.

We are a certified Image Gently® Alliance facility. The Image Gently Alliance’s mission is to improve safe, effective imaging care for children worldwide. Image Gently provides specific guidelines for imaging children with CT, MRI, ultrasound, digital X-rays, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology and other imaging procedures. When it comes to imaging children, one size does not fit all. Children are more sensitive to radiation, which is why we follow Image Gently protocols to deliver the smallest possible radiation dose for each exam.

How Should You Prepare Your Child For Pediatric Imaging

Keep your child as calm and comfortable as you possibly can. Dress your child in comfortable clothing like sweats or pajamas with elastic or drawstring waists. Do not use clothing with metal buttons, snaps, fasteners or buckles. Parents should follow any pre-examination guidelines (like not eating or drinking) given by the radiology staff. Remove all jewelry before coming to the imaging center. Preparation recommendations will vary according to the specific procedure being performed and your child’s age at the time of testing. Here are some general guidelines:


  • Comfort your baby with your presence and voice
  • Depending on the test, bring a bottle of juice or formula to be given after the exam
  • Dress your child in a two-piece outfit
  • Bring a bottle, pacifier, special blanket, toy and stroller

Toddlers & Preschool-Age Children

Before the test, explain to your child, “you will have some pictures taken so the doctors can help you feel better.”

  • Use simple words and be honest
  • Let your child know that you will stay with them
  • Bring a favorite book, toy, blanket and a snack for after the test

School-Age Children

School-age children have good imaginations. They may frighten themselves by imagining something much worse than the actual test. Before the test, explain “you will have some pictures taken of your body so the doctors can help you feel better.”

  • Use simple words and be honest
  • Let your child know that you will stay during the test
  • Bring a favorite book, toy, game or CD for your child
  • Depending on the test, bring a snack for after the exam.

What to Expect During Pediatric Imaging

Our caring staff will escort you and your child to the preparation area to prepare for the test. A technologist will do a pre-screening for the test and review the exam with you. We will also screen you to make sure that it is safe for you to be in the examination room. After the exam, you will be free to leave the facility.