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Eating and drinking before anesthesia or sedation

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Somali)

When and what can my child eat before the procedure?

For your child's safety, it is very important to have an empty stomach when anesthesia or sedation medicines are given. This is important because if vomiting occurs during the procedure, food or liquid can get into the lungs. If your child has had even a small amount to eat or drink, the procedure will be delayed or cancelled.

Can I give my child's medicines?

Talk with your child's doctor about taking medicines before the procedure. If your doctor recommends a specific medicine, you may give it with a sip of clear liquid. Do not give medicines with pudding, applesauce, yogurt, or other foods.


___ My child will come to the hospital on the day of the Procedure and will have Sedation.

___ My child will be admitted a day before the Procedure and will have Anesthesia.

Eating and drinking instructions:

  • Your child may eat and drink as usual until             (8 hours before the procedure).
  • Your child may have formula or milk until             (6 hours before the procedure).
  • Your infant may have breast milk until             (4 hours before the procedure).
  • Your child may have only clear liquids until             (3 hours before the procedure). Clear liquids only include water, Popsicles®, apple juice, Jell-O®, Kool-aid®, or soft drinks. No milk, hard candy, gum, or any juice other than apple juice.

___ My child will come to the hospital on the day of the Procedure and will have Anesthesia.

Eating and drinking instructions:

  • Your child may eat and drink as usual until            (8 hours before arrival at the hospital).
  • Your child may have formula or milk until           (6 hours before arrival at the hospital).
  • Your infant may have breast milk until           (4 hours before arrival at the hospital).
  • Your child may have only clear liquids until            (2 hours before arrival at the hospital). Clear liquids only include water, Popsicles®, apple juice, Jell-O®, Kool-aid®, or soft drinks. No milk, hard candy, gum, or any juice other than apple juice.
  • Nothing by mouth after           (2 hours before arrival at the hospital). No food, liquids, hard candy, gum, or water.

Questions?

If you have questions about what your child can eat or drink, please call the department where your child's procedure is scheduled. Other resources include the education sheets, "Anesthesia: Questions and answers" or "Sedation for a procedure."

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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