We know kids–inside and out

At Children's, caring for children means caring for their physical and emotional needs. In addition, medical equipment at Children's is tailored to fit children and is designed to deliver the lowest dose of radiation possible.

We have answers to your questions

When your child is scheduled for a radiology test, both you and your child may have questions about it. This section has answers to the common questions parents and children frequently ask us, and information about how you can prepare your child for the test.

We encourage parents to talk about the test with their child. In addition, our staff can help address your concerns before, during, and after the test.

Why is my child being tested?

Ask your child's doctor before the appointment.

What should I know about the test itself?

Call Children's radiology department, or ask the technologist or radiologist before and during the test.

Who can help me prepare my child for this test?

Child life specialists are trained to help children understand and cope with medical procedures.

Children's - Minneapolis child life (612) 813-6259

Children's - St. Paul child life (651) 220-6465

Children's West child life (952) 930-8773

How do I tell my child about this test?

Because you know your child best, explain this test to your child in a way that he will understand before you come to Children's. The staff also will explain the procedure to you and your child before and during the test.

How can your child relax?

It is important that your child remains still while the X-rays are being taken. Many parents find it helpful to practice relaxing and being still with their child. Some children find it easy to relax by imagining that they are in their favorite place, or doing their favorite activity. The more relaxed you and your child are, the easier the test will be.

Consider bringing some of your child's favorite books or quiet toys with you to the hospital, to read or play with during waiting periods. For other suggestions, see "How can I help support my child during the test?" below.

The radiology staff understands that children and adolescents may worry about being touched by someone other than you. If this is a concern to your child, explain that this touching is necessary because it will help find out how his body is working.

How should we prepare?

For infants: The test may cause a temporary change in their routine feeding and/or sleeping schedule. Parents can help maintain a sense of routine by being with their infant as much as possible. It also is helpful to bring along your child's favorite blanket or toy. If your child must not eat before the test, make sure you feed him just before the fasting time begins.

For preschoolers (younger than age 5): Explain what will be done during the test, and reassure your child that this is a "helping" test. Be honest with her about the procedure. Tell your child that it might be uncomfortable, but only for a few minutes. Lying flat on the exam table can be difficult for young children. Tell your child that you and the hospital staff understand that, and will ask her to lie still for as short a time as possible.

You also can tell your child that you will be close by so she does not become anxious about being away from you. It will help your child to talk about the test before you come to the hospital, either the night before or the day of the test. Young children often become overly anxious if they know about the test too far in advance.

For school-age children: Explain what will be done during the testing, and why it must be done. School-age children understand more about how their bodies work and benefit from these explanations.

Talk about the procedure with your child, giving him a chance to voice any questions or concerns. If your child has questions you cannot answer, tell your child he can ask the technologist.

For adolescents: Adolescents benefit from reassurance that their privacy will be respected and that their concerns are important.

Adolescents may have their own questions about the medical procedure. They are encouraged to ask the staff questions about the test at any time, or may call the radiology department before their appointment.

How can I help support my child during the test?

You play an important role in helping your child remain as calm as possible during radiology procedures. These tips can help you support your child:

  • Ask your child how much she wants to know about the test while it's happening. Some children want to be told each step of the procedure in advance and while it's happening. Others do not want all the detail—they simply want to be distracted and supported. Talk with your child about this in advance, so you can share her wishes with the staff before the procedure begins.

  • Talk about familiar, positive things. Talk about things your child likes, places he's enjoyed, things you're planning as a family, or good times you've had.

  • Be descriptive. Imagine the places, things, or people you're talking about, and describe them to your child.

  • Use praise often. Tell your child how well she's doing often during the procedure. Be specific to the child's behavior, such as:

"You're holding still. Good for you!"

"You're being a cooperative patient. Thank you!"

"You're doing just what we asked you to do!"

  • Ask open-ended questions. Questions that engage your child in conversation may be more effective in supporting him during stressful times. Rather than ask, "We're going to have a great time when we go swimming, aren't we?" try "Which swimsuit do you want to wear when we go swimming?" or "Tell me what you like to do when we go to the pool."

General radiology requirements

Pregnant mothers: Women who are pregnant can't be in the exam room. They must have a family member or friend over the age of 18 accompany their child into the examination room during the exam (with the exception of the ultrasound and nuclear medicine rooms).

Family or friends under the age of 18 years old: If you are not the patient and under the age of 18 years old you will not be allowed to remain in the radiology exam room during the exam.

Siblings: Siblings are not allowed in the radiology room while the exam is being performed (with the exception of the ultrasound rooms). Please make arrangements to have an adult accompany them in the waiting room.

Attire: Children wearing clothing with snaps or buttons will need to change into hospital attire. Any item such as jewelry, undergarments with metal, or EKG patches in affected area will be removed prior to the exam.

Registration Information

You may pre-register on the Internet. Or you can call Admitting the day before the test is scheduled.

Non-sedation patients need to arrive 30 minutes before the appointment on the day of the test. Patients who will be sedated need to arrive 60 minutes prior to their procedure.

For all patients

While the radiology staff tries to maintain on schedule, occasionally a child requires more time than usual to complete a test. We ask for your cooperation if you are asked to wait for another child's test to be finished. Please understand the staff will take extra time if needed for your child as well.

Children's is "filmless"

Children's radiology services are "filmless." This means if a patient needs to show their images to an outside doctor, then Children's will put a copy of the patient's images on a CD. The doctor can then view the images on his or her office computer.


Children's – Minneapolis
Admitting Department: (612) 813-6231
Radiology Department: (612) 813-6248
Parking information: (612) 813-6111
2525 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis
(map and directions)

Children's - St. Paul
Admitting Department: (651) 220-6878
Radiology Department: (651) 220-6147
Parking information: (651) 220-6800
345 North Smith Avenue, St. Paul
(map and directions)

Children's Minnetonka
Radiology Department: (952) 930-8644
6050 Clearwater Drive, Minnetonka
Convenient, free parking
(map and directions)