In an effort to help kids understand the daunting mechanisms of imaging machines,, a patient resource site sponsored and created by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) has launched RadInfo 4 Kids, an interactive site that helps children learn about medical scans.

RadInfo 4 Kids has a collection of games, videos, stories, and activities that help kids get emotionally and mentally prepared for their scan procedure. It can be challenging for children to grasp what happens in the scanner, so to get on their level, the site directors have also provided some videos narrated by kids who have gone through the procedure themselves. For example, one girl recounts her experience undergoing an MRI after she fell during a basketball game through reading a picture book she wrote and illustrated herself.

“Children speaking to children in an age-appropriate way helps reduce anxiety about the unknown and clears up the confusion that children have about medical procedures,” said Megan Worrell, certified child life specialist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. “For example, when a radiologist talks about the noise that an MRI [magnetic resonance imaging] machine makes, a child may imagine all kinds of scary sounds, but if another child describes the sound like a loud washing machine, a child can relate to that sound. A washing machine sound isn’t scary so, therefore, the sound the MRI makes — and vicariously — the MRI, is not scary.”

RadInfo 4 Kids was conceived at a meeting between the RSNA-ACR Public Information Website Committee and the Patient Advocate Advisory Network where both groups discussed the lack of kid-geared literature on radiology. They decided that was the best host for the new site as it receives nearly 2 million visitors a month.