Radiology and Imaging

There’s no place like CHOC when it comes to radiology and imaging services for kids. CHOC Radiology is the only specialized imaging facility in Orange County just for children and offer a wide range of radiology services.

At CHOC, we make sure your child is comfortable and safe by using the most advanced equipment available with the lowest amount of radiation. Many children in adult facilities are potentially exposed to radiation doses up to 50 percent higher than at CHOC. Our equipment is safe and calibrated for kids, not adults.
Patient getting ready for her CT scan

The CHOC Difference

CHOC MRI scanner, decorated in a nautical theme

  • We offer a full range of specialized pediatric imaging services, including ultrasound, X-ray, fluoroscopy, MRI and CT scans.
  • CHOC has been designated a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence® (DICOE) by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care.
  • Radiation doses on CHOC equipment can be up to 50 percent lower than community hospitals or independent imaging centers. Get more information on how CHOC uses the lowest amount of radiation possible in our imaging exams.
  • CHOC uses only board-certified pediatric radiologists and specially trained pediatric radiology technologists, nurses and child life specialists.
  • All radiology staff undergo age-specific training annually to learn how to work and communicate with children of varying ages.
  • CHOC is only one of a small number of medical centers in the country to have child life specialists working in a dedicated pediatric radiology and imaging department.

Radiology Services

At CHOC, we are proud to offer the latest imaging technology. The pediatric-trained radiology team makes the imaging experience safe and comfortable for kids. Our goal is to get quality images while using the smallest amount of radiation possible.

What to Expect

From the imaging suites to our family lobby, the CHOC radiology is designed to be a calm and inviting unit for children of all ages--infants to teens and young adults.

CHOC's team works one-on-one with each patient to make the imaging experience as comfortable as possible. These guidelines will help make you understand what to expect before, during and after your child's appointment.

All imaging services and examinations must be ordered by your child's doctor. Please have the doctor's written prescription with you when making the appointment. Bring the prescription with you for any scheduled or walk-in appointment.

Also, you must bring a pre-authorization from your insurance for most radiology exams. Get your pre-authorization from your insurance company should before scheduling an appointment. Please contact your insurance company or child's doctor directly to make sure pre-authorization is obtained.

CHOC performs X-rays on a walk-in basis and appointments are not needed. But, you will need a doctor's prescription for the X-ray with you when you arrive. Also, some insurance companies need pre-authorization for X-rays. Learn more about making an appointment and walk-in services.
Outpatient scans and examinations, other than X-rays, are by appointment only. Please call our scheduling office to make an appointment. Our hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Learn more about making an appointment and walk-in services.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany your child for ALL radiology appointments. Other family members, babysitters or friends cannot legally bring your child to appointments.

Please make legal arrangements with our office BEFORE the appointment if a parent or legal guardian cannot bring your child. We can provide you with a legal document that needs to be signed and notarized to allow someone else to bring your child. At check-in, we need a photo id for the parent, legal guardian or authorized legal designee.

Children should be as calm and comfortable as possible before the procedure. Please have your child dressed in comfortable clothes like sweats or pajamas. Children should not wear clothes with metal buttons, snaps or buckles. Parents and guardians should follow any pre-exam guidelines (eg. no eating or drinking) as discussed with the child's doctor or the radiology department staff. We also ask that children remove all jewelry before coming to the hospital.
Depending on the type of examination that your child is having, you will be instructed to arrive 30-90 minutes before the appointment. Our radiology team will contact you one to two days before your child's appointment with information about your child's exam.

Please first check in with the reception area of the hospital's main lobby with legal photo identification from the parent or legal guardian. Then, they will direct you to the radiology department lobby.

CHOC radiology allows one parent or legal guardian with your child during the entire appointment. Other children or family members are now allowed outside the main lobby area. Two radiology staff members will be with your child at all times if you cannot be present during the exam.
Getting an ultrasound, fluoroscopy, X-ray, CT scan or MRI can be stressful for children. We ask that caregivers find other arrangements for the patient's siblings the day of the exam. A patient will need a caregiver's full attention. Other children are not allowed in the imaging area. Children under 18 must remain in the lobby area with an adult.
If you think your child will need a child life specialist, please let us know at the time of making the appointment. Then, we can book your appointment when we know a child life specialist will be available.
Our radiology staff will escort your child and a parent or legal guardian to get ready for the test. A technologist will do a pre-screening for the test and go over the exam. We will also do a screening on the parent to make sure that it is safe for the parent to be in the examination room.
Your child's doctor will call to inform you about the results of the exam two to seven business days after the exam. If you have any questions, please call the doctor's office directly.

Child Life

CHOC is proud to be one of only a few medical centers in the country to have child life specialists working in a dedicated pediatric radiology and imaging department. Our radiology associates and child life specialists help children of all ages—babies through young adults—feel comfortable and safe.

Our team uses videos, toys and activities to help children feel more at ease with the imaging process. We use medical equipment, pictures and interactive tools help children understand what to expect. During the procedure, our associates help patients through the imaging process by:

  • Blowing bubbles, talking or singing with the child.
  • Providing music to listen to on an MP3 player during an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. (this may not be an option for all children depending on the area of the body being imaged)
  • Providing special goggles to use during MRI scans. Video goggles allows patients to watch movies or TV shows during their MRI scan. Few facilities in the United States use goggles. Yet, goggles have reduced the number of patients needing sedation for MRI procedures.

child life specialist showing mri machine to young patinet

young radiology patient with pet therapy dog

Related Features

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State-of-the-art technology and expert staff reduce radiation exposure at CHOC

New augmented reality app in radiology adds fun, eases anxiety for patients getting MRIs

Appointments and Location

All imaging services (except X-rays) require appointments. X-ray appointments are walk-in only. But, if your child needs special accommodations, an appointment will be made for your convenience.

How to make a radiology appointment (other than X-ray): Call (888) 770-2462 to make an appointment. Our associates will help make the appointment and provide pre-examination instructions.

X-ray walk-in services: Walk-in hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. At the time of walk-in, we require a doctor’s prescription for the x-ray and insurance authorization (if required by your insurance).

A legal parent or guardian must accompany your child to ALL radiology appointments. Parents and guardians must bring photo identification. Other family members, friends or caretakers are not allowed to bring your child to a radiology appointment.

1201 W. La Veta Ave. | Orange, CA 92868
(888) 770-2462